If Everyone Does a Little, No One Has to Do a Lot

As is true for many of you, I’ve been reading the Washington Monthly for years. But it wasn’t until they asked me to write here that I actually read their mission statement. Just in case any of you are like me, here it is.

The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 on the notion that a handful of plucky young writers and editors, armed with an honest desire to make government work and a willingness to ask uncomfortable questions, could tell the story of what really matters in Washington better than a roomful of Beltway insiders at a Georgetown dinner party. In our cluttered little downtown DC office, we’re still doing what we have done for over forty years, and what fewer and fewer publications do today: telling fascinating, deeply reported stories about the ideas and characters that animate America’s government.

We don’t chase news cycles, or obsess over the endless political horse race. We care about how the government can be improved, and why it hasn’t; who’s a fraud and who isn’t; which ideas ought to be banished from the nation’s capital and which ones deserve to be championed.

We’re not a subsidiary of some giant media company or a mouthpiece for ideologues. We’re an independent voice, listened to by insiders and willing to take on sacred cows—liberal and conservative.

Instead of cynically tearing down institutions and programs, we offer innovative solutions: how to get the best people to work for the government and how to get the best government for the people; how to get teachers who can teach and social workers who can make welfare reform work. We believe in the great American traditions of civic responsibility, caring for the down and out, and giving the average person a break.

I have to say that if I was ever required to write a mission statement for my own writing, it would look a lot like that…asking uncomfortable questions, taking on sacred cows, caring about how government can be improved, and offering innovative solutions.

If that’s what you are looking for in political analysis, I’m sure you are aware that the only way that kind of independence can be maintained is if we all do a little so that no one has to do a lot. In other words, your donation is needed in order to keep that mission alive. Please click on this link right now to make that happen.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.