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MUHAMMAD: Washington and D.C., 'Double Trouble'

Askia Muhammad | 5/7/2014, 3 p.m.
The people who "reside" in Washington, D.C. are living in a world of trouble — double trouble to be precise.
Askia Muhammad

The people who “reside” in Washington, D.C. are living in a world of trouble – double trouble to be precise.

Lawless, gunslinging cowboys like Nevada cattle farmer Cliven Bundy who has cheated the federal government out of fees he owes for grazing his herd on federal land literally hates “Washington.” He said he does not recognize the government’s authority. He calls himself a “sovereign citizen” and invited a bunch of rowdy, gun-toting, fellow anarchists like himself to help him protect his lawless status in a gunfight, if necessary with the Bureau of Land Management which wanted to enforce a lien on his cattle.

Unfortunately many federal officials, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and others, agree with Bundy and also hate Washington, even though they live and work here. Government officials may in fact “live” in Washington, but they don’t “reside” here because they represent states and districts all over the U.S., where they officially reside.

Until Bundy slipped and said he thinks “Negroes” might be better off in slavery, picking cotton, many Washington haters who are also officials here, were in virtual ideological lock-step with Bundy, which brings us to the other part of this equation, which the Bundys of the world love to hate – the District of Columbia.

Congress, which has absolute Constitutional authority (much of which has been delegated to locally elected officials in recent years) over the territory in which the federal seat of government is located – D.C. – also hates “the District.” The United States is the only major power in the world which does not grant the citizens of its capital city, a vote in the national legislature. The residents of the District pay taxes but they don’t have a vote in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

So there are a lot of people all over the country who hate Washington, because they resent the poor job of national governance which goes on here. A lot of people also hate the District of Columbia because the residents are plagued by “The Three Toos.” D.C.’s population is “Too Black; Too Liberal; and Too Democratic.”

The right-wing, “anti-Washington” rhetoric is not about D.C., that’s separate. It’s about a resentment of federal authority over “states’ rights.” The federal government forced an end to slavery; forced an end to American apartheid, also known as segregation. The feds continually impose standards on local schools; they regulate the water, the environment; and most recently shoved that botched “socialized medicine” scheme called “Obamacare” down everybody’s throat.

So those who reside in Washington, D.C. are held responsible in the minds of non-Washingtonians for every problem from the highways where they live, to every diplomatic blunder and war abroad, whether the U.S. did or did not put “boots on the ground” costing this country precious blood and treasure.

D.C. residents are blamed, even though they have absolutely no say-so in how the federal government is managed. D.C. does have three electoral votes in the Electoral College which picks the president, but in the 50-odd years since that franchise was won, the D.C. electors have never been decisive in a presidential contest. And the only time any attention seems to be paid to local D.C. government is when some scandal involving a corrupt local official makes news.