Washington runs on politics

By Tim Webber

Washington, D.C. runs on politics in much the same way that America runs on Dunkin’ Donuts.

I make this analogy for two reasons. First, in the faint hope that Dunkin’ may award me with free products. I’m not trying to monetize the blog or anything, but if Dunkin’ is reading this and wants to give an edible shoutout to a hungry college student for making such a good analogy, hit me up. And second, because the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.

Let’s clear one thing up right here at the start: Neither half of this analogy is entirely true. America doesn’t run exclusively on Dunkin’. We have antitrust laws to ensure that. If we’re being honest, the majority of Americans probably extract their morning fuel from other sources.

Similarly, the people of Washington aren’t fueled entirely by politics. While we’ve met with several Drake alumni with either government positions or jobs closely intertwined with the government over our first five days here in D.C., there are plenty of Drake graduates in this city who take up positions further from that world.

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While the Special Olympics are not directly under the federal government, we learned from an alumnus at the organization that politics still heavily affect the people who work there.

We were fortunate enough to meet some of those alumni tonight at a networking event for Drake graduates, and our class had engaging conversations with graduates doing some truly fascinating and exciting things — some of whom were in our shoes four years ago.

But there are plenty of people in America who do run on Dunkin’. You or someone you know probably does, and that can have an effect on you. In much the same way, many citizens of Washington, D.C. works in government or know someone who does, and politics play a major role in their lives.

Many government workers here in Washington know they’ll be out of a job very soon. They don’t appear to let that get to them. They know that’s what they signed up for, and most will land not just on their feet, but running. Politics influence significant career decisions here in D.C., and many residents are well-versed in policy, even if it’s not directly relevant to their jobs.

Working in Washington is different than working anywhere else, and I think that, through the site visits and networking events so far, most of the class has gained a good understanding of the challenges and rewards that come along with that. We’re looking forward to hearing the perspectives of even more Drake alumni in the coming days.

P.S.: Dunkin’, you can DM me at @HelloTimWebber on Twitter.

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