Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bypass Washington

I read these two words in the order in which they appear above in an article called “Redeeming America” in the July-August Utne magazine. They stunned me.

I wouldn’t exactly say I am a political animal and I have to be honest and credit Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant television series, The West Wing, for my interest in politics at all. (He taught me how it works.) I enjoy pedaling my bicycle for daily exercise in front of Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, the smart, bad boys of the liberal media.

There’s also one other thing: I vote—and I prefer to vote informed rather than strictly along party lines.

The hard part of this for me is the heart of our nation is in Washington, a government of the people, by the people and for the people. What people? What’s happened to our national heart? Where is it? Why hasn’t the heart of us gotten out of Iraq or into Darfur? What’s going on?

I am sorely tried by the Congress seeming to spout at the White House about bringing home our troops, and not voting to put OUR money where their mouths are. I pray more through the daily news than at any other time of the day.

Bypass is a word common to the world of coronary surgery. The surgery reroutes, or bypasses, blood around clogged arteries to improve blood flow and oxygen to the heart. Could “clogged arteries” also be spelled “clogged beltway?”

Bypass operations are happening politically all over the country these days. Mayors are greening their own cities; governors, their states. Communities are creating safety and watch organizations for their own streets. College students are working to create a Department of Peace in the United States Cabinet, and so are their adult compatriots. Bypassing is a commonplace.

When a coronary bypass is successful, blood flow is improved and the heart gets more oxygen. Take a deep breath, dear one, and pray for more bypass till the heart returns to our nation, or we return to our national heart, whichever comes first.

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