May 21st, 2010
12:10 PM ET

Oh, say can you D.C.?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/20/art.washington.capitol.jpg caption="I’ve been out west all week, and with each passing day I am more reminded of how distant Washington, D.C. can seem to most of the nation."]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

As I write this, I am rolling through the wilds of New Mexico amid majestic rock outcroppings, achingly blue skies, and, of course, countless natural casino formations. I’m not sure precisely when archaeologists began unearthing them, but they certainly seem to be everywhere these days. Casinos, I mean, not archaeologists.

I’ve been out here all week looking at the economy of the west, and with each passing day I am more reminded of how distant Washington, D.C., with all of its sturm and drang, can seem to most of the nation. For example, while the political pundits were chopping up the results of this week’s voting like Morimoto with a new chef’s knife, is the rest of America? Uh, not so much. People went to work, helped the kids with homework, got haircuts, complained about their haircuts, bought televisions, complained there was nothing on, ate Bloomin’ Onions, and maybe…just maybe…read an article about the results of that polling. But I’m pretty sure that was about it.

Much has been made lately about how furious voters are over All Things D.C. They don’t like the Democrats, they don’t like the Republicans, and they are not sure how they want to RSVP to the Tea Party. But out here you quickly understand that the real attitude may be even more disheartening for the political set: Many folks just don’t seem to consider what the nation’s capital does very relevant to their lives anymore.

They have little faith in any promise given by any faction. They simply tolerate the laws, policies, and taxes they don’t like or can’t avoid. And every time the Beltway Gang works itself into a tizzy over yet another incremental election cycle or purportedly “revolutionary, bold” initiative, they shrug and take the dog for a walk.

And the funny thing is, the more you are around them, the more you start thinking maybe that’s not a bad plan. After all, until the Washington, D.C. power players learn to start working as a team again and pass some meaningful and effective programs, what’s the point of paying much attention?

I just crossed the Rio Grande. I think I’ll just keep going.

Filed under: 360° Radar
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