Man, what a weird dream. The year is 2020. I’m the communications director for the Forbes administration, which has just won re-election for a sixth time. Crime and drug use are down to 1920s levels. Political correctness is a memory, a bad joke from the turn of the century. The country is finally over “the ’60s,”

a term now used to describe the

Culture Wars that lasted from 1960

to 2010.

However, there is one holdout. Washington, D.C., once the nation’s capital (the capital was moved to New York during Giuliani’s fourth term), is a backwater of crime, drugs, and identity politics. Forbes sends me into the city via hang-glider, à la Kurt Russell in Escape From L.A., to try and persuade the last vestige of liberal scum to join the living.

I land at Georgetown University, which was taken over by the Modern Language Association in a bloody coup in 2005. I land at the feet of the statue of Father Healy, who is missing his head. On the ground is a copy of Washington City Paper, still publishing after all these years. I pick it up. The cover story is an ill-researched, smug hatchet job of the last conservative in the city, who wants to lower the D.C. tax rate from 42 to 30 percent. Inside, there is coverage of punk-rock bands, despite the fact that the swing revolution of 2000 wiped out alternative and reintroduced romance, elegance, adulthood, and style to American popular culture. (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy played Forbes’ 2nd Inaugural.) Mayor Barry is still in power.

I radio back to headquarters, telling them not to wait up. I could be here a while.

Potomac, Md.

via the Internet