Last week, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted to support a resolution asking its congressional delegation to continue to deny equal rights for the 712,000 citizens of our nation’s capital by opposing DC statehood.
In a ridiculous statement, Majority Whip Jim Bolin said DC was “too small” to be a state. Bolin and his Republican colleagues need a civics lesson. Representation has nothing to do with land area. Alaska only gets two senators even though it’s 8.5 times larger than South Dakota. He also suggested the Founding Fathers wanted to disenfranchise Washington. Not true; they wanted to protect themselves from insurrection by controlling the capital and we’ve just seen how well that worked out.
Adding insult to injury, Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., wants to merge the District with Maryland. However, DC was founded when South Dakota was part of the Louisiana Territory. So that makes no more sense than your state retroceding to Louisiana. In addition, Johnson states we should do what’s in the best interests of the nation as a whole. As the Constitution points out; forming “a more perfect union” is in everyone’s interest.
It’s simple. We are the only democracy that disenfranchises its capital. We elect Democrats, so it’s about partisanship or the belief that granting rights to others somehow diminishes them for you. As Mark Twain said; “you’re never wrong to do the right thing” and for people who pay taxes and have died on the battlefield for our democracy for 200 years, the right thing is equality.
Michael Donald "Mike" Brown is the junior United States shadow senator from the District of Columbia since 2007.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.