A Holiday Gift for Democracy

This is probably my last post of the year here at Washington Monthly, tonight on Christmas Eve with a cup of eggnog and a newborn daughter snuggled in my arms. So I’ll keep it brief.

The holidays are about compassion, forgiveness and concern for our fellow creatures. We express that sentiment in a variety of ways, from symbols of religious devotion to material gift-giving to gatherings with friends and family. Some among us choose to ignore these sentiments in favor of empty materialism and performative religiosity, but the spirit of the season is about ensuring that this all-too-brutal world experiences more warmth and light.

For those of us of a political bent, we also understand that creating a better world means not just helping our fellow beings in their time of need, but creating the social and legal structures that make dignity possible even in the absence of the charity of the rich and privileged. It means constraining the worst impulses of those with more power and wealth than basic decency, and it means afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted.

That’s what we try to do here at Washington Monthly. Our writers approach the nation’s problems from a variety of angles and we don’t always agree even with one another, but we are always in the service of helping clarify the obscure and holding the powerful to account. Together, we’re doing all we can to use the power of the written word to improve the human condition. It’s a non-profit labor of love on a threadbare budget, and we depend heavily on your support.

We don’t do clickbait or obtrusive ads. We don’t “pivot to video” to chase dollars. We don’t do red meat just to drive traffic. We stay focused on our mission. That means we’ll never be the biggest political site on the block, but we’ll always hopefully be one of the most productive for the common good.

Not all of our readers have the resources to help. But if you do, and if you enjoy our work, please consider making a donation to help keep us going. All your donations are matched through the end of the year by Democracy Fund and by the Knight and MacArthur Foundations.

Thank you, and may you and yours find love and happiness this holiday season.

David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.