August 6, 2023

By Arthur H. Gunther III

WASHINGTON, D.C. – These are not the best of days for America’s capital and Capitol, indeed the seat of democracy worldwide. A thrice-indicted fellow who should never have been president, special interests, the money lobbies, overwhelming bureaucracy and way too many rules and regulations pervert this town, our land. The people’s business be damned.

We have a Congress that does not meet well in congress. It is a torn body of its own and grossly individual aims, of far-out politics, of non-cooperation, of pitches to the ignorant, playing on their fears.

So, little gets done. The middle class dwindles, and the rich grow ever more distant from the responsibility to better us all, that set by the great Republican himself, Teddy Roosevelt.

In our nation so many with higher education or not are unemployed or underemployed. And the war bells always seem to be ringing – as the military/industrial complex of which Eisenhower warned rules.

Yes, a sad, even misdirected town, distant from its people, from the Founders. Yet it is still America’s city. While lobbyists’ buildings grow in size and quantity on K Street, over at the Lincoln Memorial, at night with spotlights on the likeness of humble Abe, the crowds gather in humility and awe. Visit the memorial in daytime, and it will offer its still-unfulfilled hope of an America not to be divided. See it at night, a beacon of light on the Great Emancipator alone in the darkness covering its steps, and you will realize, profoundly, why this nation was born.
And why it must not die.

The writer is a retired newspaperman who can be reached via This essay is based on an earlier one.