Hyperdemocracy

Washington isn't dangerously disconnected from the people; the trouble may be it's too plugged in

THE MOST VILIFIED EXPANSE OF asphalt in the history of the universe is, almost certainly, the Washington Beltway. Whereas most municipal freeways are associated with fairly mundane evils -- potholes, rush-hour traffic -- the Beltway has come to symbolize nothing less than a looming threat to American democracy. It is the great invisible buffer, impermeable to communication, that separates the nation's capital from the nation. It is what keeps many politicians -- the ones with an "inside the Beltway" mentality -- out of touch with the needs of the citizenry. It is the reason Washington's "media elites" are so clueless as...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!