One of my enduring pet peeves is the pejorative use of Washington, DC as a political metaphor. It drives me right up the wall when my home-of-choice is used as an epithet to accuse a political opponent of being out of touch, or when partisans from across the country cheer for natural disasters to befall it due to their opposition to whatever government happens to be in power at the time, apparently completely unaware that federal jobs are only a quarter of the jobs here. (Don’t believe me that this happens? Run a Twitter search for “washington” next time there’s a Snowpocalypse headed our way.)
The Onion skewers this phenomenon pretty effectively today. A quote:
As your Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, I’m grateful to have this opportunity to reach out to the people of Wisconsin and draw some distinctions between myself—a D.C. outsider—and Russ Feingold. The incumbent is a classic tax-and-spend liberal who, if elected, will increase the deficit even further. But most importantly, Russ Feingold is a career politician who knows exactly where to find our nation’s capital on a map.
Me? I don’t have the slightest idea. If somebody asked me right now where Washington, D.C. is, I would say north, but that’s really just a shot in the dark. I am literally clueless.
Please do read the whole thing; it just gets better from there. As for me, the next time I hear a politician complaining about their opponent the “DC insider,” or talking about the message they want to send do “those people in Washington,” I’ll be giggling, and repeating to myself, “Here is what I know: Washington, D.C. is far away. Outer space is farther away. And Caesar salad is a kind of salad. What more do you need?”