Easy Chair — From the July 2014 issue

Angle to Montgomery

Download Pdf
MicroFiche

Justin Barkley and I met as freshmen in college. He was the soft-spoken kid with an Alabama accent who lived down the hall. His roommates were all jocks of one type or another, so he spent a lot of time with the misfits in my suite that first year. We fell out of touch after graduation, though I heard about the big milestones: marriage; law school; kids one, two, and three. Now here he was in my inbox, the sender of a mass email to a blind-copied list: “I wanted you to be among the first to know that, after much prayer and careful deliberation, I have decided to run for a seat in the state legislature.”

Spencer Bachus, the eleven-term congressman from Birmingham, Alabama, was retiring; Paul DeMarco, the state representative from Justin’s district, was running to replace him; and Justin was running in the Republican primary for DeMarco’s open seat. There was an ask in Justin’s email, but it was subtle — a link to contribute to the campaign “if you’re so inclined.”

A survey of young Americans conducted earlier this year found that only 7 percent disagree with the statement “Elected officials seem to be motivated by selfish reasons.” About the same percentage think that elected officials share their priorities. Meanwhile, things are looking a bit sunnier for the current U.S. Congress — their disapproval rating is down to 83 percent, from a high of 86 percent last November.

This article is only available to magazine subscribers. If you are a subscriber, please sign in. If you aren't, please subscribe below and get access to the entire Harper's archive for only $39.99/year.

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Download Pdf
Share

More from Christopher Cox:

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2014

Cassandra Among the
Creeps

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Today Is Better Than Tomorrow”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

PBS Self-Destructs

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Monkey Did It

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content