I recently visited our nation’s capital. I walked the neighborhoods, visited the monuments and memorials, looked at art, watched the people, and even witnessed the presidential motorcade passing by—and all the time I experienced a nagging sensation of dirtiness, a troubling unease. Something has gone wrong in our nation and I seemed to be searching for clues in our capital as to what happened and why.
And then I found the reason on a steep staircase in a Georgetown neighborhood.
I was probably fourteen or fifteen years old when I stayed up late night after night reading one of the most terrifying books of all time—The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty. For a boy raised Catholic in fear of both God and Satan, the story of demon possession had quite an impact on me, so much so that the book made my list of The Most Important Novels in My Life.
The movie came out just a few years later, starring Linda Blair as Regan, the possessed child; Max von Sydow as the exorcist; and Jason Miller as the exorcist’s assistant, Father Damien Karras. The climactic scene takes place when Karras enters Regan’s room and discovers the exorcist dead at the hands of the devil. He attacks Regan, trying to kill her, demanding that the devil take him instead—and the devil does. Karras, now possessed by the devil, hurls himself out the window and down a steep flight of 75 concrete stairs—to his death.
Here’s the two-minute clip:
Regan recovers, Karras is dead at the bottom of the stairs in Georgetown—but what has become of the devil?
That question is never answered, but I think I know what happened. The devil has taken up residence in the U.S. Capitol, possessing many of our senators and representatives. Like Mitch McConnell. And that she-devil Marjorie Taylor Greene (who I once instructed in the rules of grammar). And Paul Gosar, Lauren Boebert, Josh Hawley, Joe Manchin . . . the list goes on. These people aren’t leaders, they aren’t steering our country toward a better future, they are pointing us towards hell. We don’t need a president, we need an Exorcist.