Photos - Fotos: Platon Antoniou - Part 4 - Adversaries - Washington Warriors - 9 photos - Links

Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 15:52







“For the past generation or two,” George Packer writes in our Politics Issue, “Washington has been the not so hallowed ground for a political war. This conflict resembles trench warfare, with fixed positions, hourly exchanges of fire, heavy causalties on both sides, and little territory gained or lost. The combatants wear red or blue, and their struggle is intensely ideological.” One week last month, the photographer Platon made a series of portraits of some of Washington’s leading political warriors. Here is a gallery of this Portfolio, captioned with the subjects’ own words.




“It was a tragedy and we’ve learned to live with it—it’s not pleasant for Jim at all—but people have to realize that this happens every day. Everyday, 32 people are killed in this country, and many more injured—and injured severely, like Jim. And it just goes by as though it’s nothing. And you think, is there something we can do? It really was several years later before we got involved. It wasn’t a snap decision at all, but we saw a solution, something that might help.” —Sarah Brady, who lobbies for gun control with her husband, Jim, who was paralyzed during an attempt on Ronald Reagan’s life, in 1981.
  
“I think there’s a political gridlock. I think Washington is completely dysfunctional. And it’s too bad, because it actually does have a huge impact on people’s lives. Unfortunately, I think too many politicians begin to lose sight of why they came in the first place. I mean, the most amazing people I meet who are in politics came because they wanted to get something done, and if you lose sight of that, you just sort of lose your way. Unfortunately, people get there and realize nothing’s going to get done, so it all becomes about survival—political survival.” —Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood.

 
“What he does do is bring people together and find the common ground, which is so hard to do. There’s a real absence of trust here in Washington, because people spend all their time trying to make political hate today rather than thinking about the long-term needs of the country. You know, Al and I disagree on some things, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like each other, or that we don’t have common ground, or that we can’t be friends.” —Erskine Bowles (right), who served as chief of staff in the Clinton White House, speaking of Alan Simpson (left), a former Republican senator from Wyoming.

 
“What worries me is whether we will have enough of a force to make the world a better place. There are tremendous forces in all directions all the time and it really is: Who has the power? I hope that it is the people on the ground, in their towns, in their schools, who have the power to make their home and their environment cleaner, more welcoming, more secure, and that they have a voice in their political system to enable that to happen.” —Frances Beinecke, president of the nonprofit environmental action group, Natural Resources Defense Council.

 
 “The animosity, the meanness in politics, wasn’t there when I started, I think…. I’ve worked with liberal Democrats, they were friends with their conservative counterparts. That’s kind of gone in Washington politics. Here, people don’t talk to each other, they don’t know each other. I think it’s what Gingrich gave to American politics. Their whole style of success was built around trying to rip the other guy down. It’s a fever, I don’t know if it will break.” —John Podesta, founder of the progressive think tank Center for American Progress.


“When I think about those lobbyists or other forces who are corrupting the policy arena or trying to stop environmental regulations from being enforced, I want to ask them how they get up in the morning, or how they sleep at night, how they speak to their children, what they say to themselves is their mission in life. Is it to protect corporate power? Honestly, do they think that the free market is going to solve humanity’s problems?” —Kert Davies, research director for Greenpeace in the United States.

 
“I hope that America will return to its social structure that has the family as the basic element of society. This is what we’ve got away from in recent years. The absence of marriage is the big cause of the economic problems, the job problems, the unhappiness problems. And a society that is built on the intact family is really the most stable way for individuals as well as for the country, and unfortunately we’ve lost a lot of that in recent years, and I hope people can realize that the family structure should be the basis of our society.” —Phyllis Schlafly, a leading conservative voice since the nineteen-sixties.

 
 “There is a fundamental belief by the American people that we need to have a balanced government, and it began with our founding, the fact that we have three parts of our government that it’s set up not for things to happen immediately but over a period of time and that there’s an appeal process to it. So I don’t get caught up in a lot of the teeth gnashing that I hear from certain people now that politics is the worst ever. Because it’s not. Go back and look at what was said about George Washington, or Jefferson, or Lincoln.” —Robert M. Duncan, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, who now heads a group that promotes coal-generated electricity.


“I think Washington in some ways gets a bad rap. Everyone says ‘inside the Beltway’ is such a terrible place, but a lot of decent people are doing their best inside the Beltway. I think people can work together and they have worked together on a bunch of things…. Some of my best friends are liberals. Not too many, but a few. This is what people like me do for a living, is have arguments. It would be boring just to hang out with conservatives.” —William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard.

 
“We’ve always had a difference of opinion in our political world. We are a democracy, so we don’t all think alike and we have the opportunity to express that. But I think the stagnation that exists now is quite new, and the way to get beyond it is for the Republicans to take back their party from the extreme radical anti-government ideologues who have taken control of it…. So I say to my Republican friends, take back your party. We need that for our democracy.” —Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House Democrats and former Speaker of the House.




Photos - Fotos: Platon Antoniou - Part 4 - Adversaries - Washington Warriors - 9 photos - Links









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