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I wrote my first political story in high school 47 years ago while working for the weekly newspaper in my home town. I’ve written about every President from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.
When I took a break from journalism in 1981, I worked on Capitol Hill and later ran the largest political action committee in the country. For the past 15-and-a-half years, I’ve covered politics and government for this web site.
Even in semi-retirement here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, I’m still writing about state and local politics — covering county government for the local newspaper and local and state government antics for my hyperlocal news site.
Last week, I sat at the keyboard to write a column and realized I couldn’t muster a single thought. So I climbed aboard my Harley Super Glide and headed spent the day riding 200 miles of country roads.
During a break at a ramshackle country store on a back road in the bowels of West Virginia, I thought long and hard about walking away from this web site and putting both concern and thoughts about politics in the past.
I came home determined to take a break and do other things.
But, in the end, I couldn’t.
I’ve tried to do it before — several times in fact. I even sold this web site once but bought it back. The simple truth is that I can’t walk away, no matter how hard I may want or try.
The heady world of politics is a power narcotic, one that hooks more Americans than any drug — legal or illegal — on the market. Politics should come with a warning label: Warning! Entry into this world can be habit-forming and lead to serious mental damage.
I am bothered by the shallowness of political debate. That shallowness, I believe, is fueled by web sites where shouting and insults replace rational thought and the faux “news” shows on networks like Fox and MSNBC where partisan blather replaces any attempt at balance.
Capitol Hill Blue celebrates its 16th birthday on the web later this year. If health and finances permit, I hope to put in a full 20 running this web site before hanging up my political cleats and riding off into the sunset on my Harley.