April 2, 2023

D.C. statehood, another wrong left turn

“All too long, we’ve been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.”

– Richard Armour

In 1783, mercenaries ran the Confederation Congress from Pennsylvania’s state house. On this historic site Congress appointed George Washington as the commander of the Continental Armyin 1775, declared independence from The King in 1776, and drafted the Articles of Confederation in 1777. Despite all this, the Congress was forced to flee from an army of dissidents and rioters.

Pennsylvania’s state militia was upset that they were not being paid. On June 20, 1783, a small group of them marched on Philadelphia. Delegates inside the hall nervously eyed the crowd as soldiers shook their fists and jeered. In a few hours the fearful delegates fled from the rowdy mob. This convinced our founders the new capital must have independent sovereignty for its security.

When our founders returned to Philadelphia hall in 1787 to draft the Constitution, one essential element of the new republic had already been established: The Capital of the United States could never be located in one of the states. It must reside in an autonomous district in which it had total authority over. This way no state could ever influence or disrupt its independent neutral governing.

As delegates discussed how to isolate the federal capital from the states, and protect the rights of the district’s citizens, James Madison, reasoned; “The proximity of these citizens to the nation’s President and Congress will ensure their views were represented and their rights are protected.” Thusly, the Constitution classified D.C. as “a District not a state to house the U.S. government”.

There’s always been controversy with the District having unique federal representation. In 1961, this was clarified with the 23rd amendment that gave D.C. three presidential electoral votes. The amendment also clarified D.C. as an “independent district, and the seat of the U.S. government.”

“For the seat of Government to exercise its authority it must be independent.”

– James Madison

Our republic faces its greatest challenges in our history. Malcontents are rioting across our nation; Anti-Americans are tearing down statues of our greatest statesmen like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson; the men who founded our capital. And the left is doing nothing. They are trying to increase political power. Instead of addressing the violence in D.C., they want to make it a state?

According to a recent Gallup poll, those surveyed agreed, the most salient issues in our nation are the coronavirus, partisan politics, federal debt, the economy and illegal immigration. Yet the left has added to our immigration problems, ignores the GOP, passed a massive partisan wish list, is trying to de-fund law enforcement and has damaged our economy by eliminating thousands of energy jobs.

“All I know is, I’ve been hired to solve problems, not make them worse.”

– Joe Biden

A Gallup poll last year found only 29% supported statehood for D.C. and 64% were opposed to it. No members of either political party came close to a majority of respondents in favor of it. Editor Jeff Jones of Gallup remarked, “The people just don’t see any reason why D.C. should be a state.”

The left wants to make Washington D.C. a state for only one reason: To get two more progressive Senators in Congress. Since the president’s party always loses seats during the midterms, they will try to force D.C. statehood through Congress by the narrowest of fractions in the history of the U.S.

The left claims residents of D.C. do not have the same rights as other states. Yet the District has direct representation and influence in Congress since many of the representatives live and work in the District. Americans are increasingly aware of the large gap between states and policymakers in Washington. And it’s no accident the four richest counties in the U.S. are all in metro D.C. proper.

D.C. residents benefit astronomically from their proximity to the Capitol. D.C. public schools top the nation in per-pupil spending, with $30,000 per student. It is no coincidence that the District citizens receive more than twice as much total federal dollars per resident than any of the 50 U.S. states.

When our founders created the District independent from the states, they created provisions for it to operate on a “charter” managed by the citizens. Their existing local government gives residents the most powerful form of self-government in America. They have direct influence over every law.

“The greatest freedom we may offer to any man is that of self-government.”

– Thomas Jefferson

Not only do most Americans disagree that our capital should become a state; it’s unconstitutional. D.C. operates under a special status created in the Constitution. In 1790, the District was created on land ceded by Maryland and Virginia to the federal government as an independent territory. All states agreed: For government to function separately from the states it must be on neutral grounds.

Our founders intended the capital to be that neutral ground for equal sovereign states to transact collective business. Since the Constitution gave the states more power than the federal government, placing the capital within a state would give a state excessive influence on the federal government.

“Where the real power in a government lies, there is the danger of oppression.”

– James Madison

Today, with the expanded powers of the federal government over the states, making D.C. a state would put the other 50 states at a distinct disadvantage. Congress could be easily swayed by that state in federal policy, grants, and making regulations. Since the District is traditionally progressive, and even more so today, every part of our Constitution would be in danger of absolute revisionism.

After the insurrection in Philadelphia, the founders were aware of the danger of putting the capital in any state. James Madison warned the colonies in “The Federalist” No. 43 of bringing “imputation of awe or influence” onto the new national government by placing it within any existing or new state.

John Wayne once said, “Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.” We have a myriad of sociopolitical land economic issues to resolve in this nation. Yet the socialist progressives are spending our tax dollars passing partisan initiatives to turn America into a leftist run autocracy. They are packing the court, federalizing our state elections and turning our capital into a progressive controlled oligarchy.

In 64 AD, Nero played the fiddle (lyre), gloating while Rome burned. This is what progressives are doing today. America is on fire, fueled by sociopolitical chaos and the left is gloating as they seize the opportunity to replace republican democracy with Lenin style autocratic progressive socialism.

“It would seem that if despotism were to be established among the democratic nations of our days, it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them.”

– Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835 and 1840

This article was originally posted on D.C. statehood, another wrong left turn

Sydney Boles