I have an essay about Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in BW/DR Magazine’s July “Americana” issue:
Senator Jefferson Smith—the surname of American ubiquity spliced onto that of America’s founding rhetorician.
Senator Idealist Everyman goes to take up his position in a capital populated by flacks, bosses, hacks—cynics who went there for personal advancement, financial gain and the security of acceptance into the great fraternity-sorority of those who understand the rules and play by them. Of the machine-made men, only Senator Paine—the senior senator from Smith’s state, and one of Smith’s boyhood heroes—seems troubled by a divergence between actions and professed beliefs. Paine participates in the machine to stay in the Senate. He doesn’t like thinking he is in the Senate for the machine.
Illustration: Brianna Ashby