When President Obama announced in 2013 that he’d be placing DC’s infamous, politically charged “Taxation without representation” license plates on all presidential limousines, it was assumed that the District would finally earn its statehood.
After all, when the leader of the free world comes out and says he has, “seen firsthand how patently unfair it is for working families in DC to work hard, raise children, and pay taxes, without having a vote in Congress” it’s sort of a given that something is going to change, right?
Hahahaha! It’s adorable that you thought that.
Look, it’s no surprise that DC statehood hasn’t happened yet given the pace at which this country moves on, well, anything. The ridiculous unfairness of this situation has been well documented by John Oliver and many other less social media-friendly Americans who don’t seamlessly work Fifty Shades of Grey references into their arguments.
But aside from the blatant injustice of it all, there’s another reason to push for Washington DC as the flag-altering 51st state: it would be fun as hell! To wit:
It’s completely unlike anywhere else
Here’s a fun measuring stick: start your car at Union Station and drive 90 minutes in any direction. Get out of your car, and see if wherever you end up feels anything like DC.
Richmond might as well be Alabama and Dover is a NASCAR track; I’m fairly sure everything west of Leesburg in Virginia is still the unexplored frontier.
And then there’s DC, a singularly unique place where you can feel the nation’s pulse (at least until Trump’s prophecy comes true and China takes over). The second you set foot in DC, you can feel it. You’re someplace different. It’s certainly a more pronounced transition than, say, crossing over from one Dakota to a… different Dakota.
Never mind the insanity of 660,000 Washingtonians -- what with their population bigger than Vermont or Wyoming and a GDP that dwarfs even more states’ -- being denied the basic perks of statehood (because, again, this isn’t even about that).
Shouldn’t such a vibrant, energetic “I’m someplace that matters” locale merit all the prestige that comes along with being called a state?
Shouldn’t high school kids talking about all the different states they’ve visited be able to offer up that awkward eighth grade Washington trip (the one where they ALMOST snuck out and went to one of the girls’ rooms, if it wasn’t for that dumb chaperone) as another feather in their collective cap?
Shouldn’t America embrace the fact that odd numbers are way more fun than even numbers (looking at you, 13 colonies)?
Yes, yes it should.