Political Perspective: Capital Frenemies

Carter Elliot, Staff Columnist~

Before coming to Washington D.C., I had every predetermined bias that any other citizen would have because of the media.

In Lynchburg, I would avidly watch the news and stay up-to-date on current events throughout the country, especially in the capital . Mostly I watch CNN or MSNBC and even ABC, and every time something political comes on the television,  it is always the same story. Everyone always hears that politicians in Washington are fighting and that nothing is getting done.

However, from my short time in our nation’s capital, I have noticed  the opposite of what the media would have you believe: Things are not as bad as they seem.

Fighting and arguing sells stories; what doesn’t sell stories is when I walk down the street to my house on North Carolina Avenue and see a plethora of Republicans and Democrats eating together, drinking together and smoking cigars together.

Capitol building in Washington D.C. Photo by Carter Elliot. Aug. 11 2017

Anyone that is in the capital  can plainly see that most of these congressmen and senators  do not hate each other; in fact, they are pretty invested in the lives of their colleagues.

While,  yes, they go at each other’s throats during hearings and on the floor, but outside of work they are the opposite. Several senators  and House members who have made statements to the media and the public  this summer have given us their opinions on bipartisanship.

Senator Michael Bennett from Colorado made a statement  earlier in the summer saying that he is close friends with many Republicans  and he hopes that, when we leave the city, we will tell the people around us that it is actually not as bad as it seems.

Majority Leade r Kevin McCarthy even said to me, “It’s hard to stay mad at someone up here when you know the names of their kids, so I get to know them.”

After seeing all of this in action, I truly do not believe that it is as bad as it looks,  and nevertheless, optimism and positive attitudes  are what will eventually solve this political crisis.

This is definitely the biggest lesson that I learned while roaming our nation’s capital : You cannot believe everything you see on the news. More actual work gets done than the average  American could ever imagine.

This observation has definitely made me more optimistic about the future direction of the country. Now more than ever,  I am so proud to be a Democrat,  and now more than ever,  I want to get to work.





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