Thanks, Mr. Clean

I used to reign supreme over my kitchen counters. It was all I had. The “cleaning consultant” took that away.


I hate Cinderella. I have a 5-year-old foster daughter who has forced me to read the Cinderella book a thousand times, see the Cinderella movie two thousand times, buy the Cinderella dress, the Cinderella watch, the Cinderella sheets, the Cinderella sticker book, the Cinderella coloring book, the Cinderella mud flaps, and the Cinderella blood pressure cuff. Legally, there is nothing I can do about it.

Cinderella is a terrible role model for kids. She has no virtues at all. The only reason she ever got anything is because she cried and her fairy godmother showed up and dressed her. Then she danced with the prince once and married him. Oh, very smart, Cin. I always tell my foster kid, “You know, they don’t tell you what happens after she marries the prince. It gets worse.”

Cinderella should have gotten out of the house. She should have been a labor organizer. She should have overthrown the monarchy instead of marrying into it. She cleans just to avoid real life. Her mop is a crutch.

I know, because I do the exact same thing. I love to clean. Perhaps more accurately, I must clean. The more difficult life becomes, the more detailed my cleaning. After watching the Republican candidates debate in Iowa, I was driven to crevice-tool the inside edge of my entire house. I can hear a speech on C-Span threatening Medicare benefits and think, “I have got to dust and alphabetize my videotapes.” I don’t have to be Freud to know this is a sickness.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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