The Loose Lips column’s popularity is due, in large measure, to its ability to take the high and mighty down a few notches. Much fun. Nonetheless, getting after Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss for trying to act like a real U.S. senator (2/18) seems a little insensitive to the democratically deprived.

It is a daily insult for D.C. residents not to have voting representation in Congress. Some people prefer it that way, of course, because they would rather have senators from all over the U.S., who know nothing about us in D.C., control our lives—rather than entrusting our fate to our own elected senators. Most D.C. residents, however, vastly prefer democratic rights.

The fact that Strauss (whom I don’t know very well, by the way) tries to act like a real senator means he is just doing the job he was elected to do. He gets no taxpayer money, as far as I know. Apparently, he has attracted a few volunteer interns to help spread the word that D.C. residents are (or should be) Americans, and what is the amusement there?

Our D.C. people can make senators as good as or better than the real senators. In every nation in the free world, the residents of the nation’s capital are represented in the national legislature—except one. We D.C. residents are the sole excluded people. D.C. is the last of the segregated political lunch counters.

Loose Lips seemed to treat as frivolous Strauss’ attempt to “pump meaning” into his job by visiting the Argentine Embassy to learn how the residents of Buenos Aires received voting representation after nearly two centuries of disenfranchisement. Not long ago, Brazil also was like the U.S. in excluding its capital city residents from voting representation in the national legislature. However, Brazil ended that exclusion in 1988. Strauss could go to the Brazilian Embassy, too, and learn how residents of Brasilia were able to join the free world. Democracy would indeed pump meaning into D.C. residents’ daily lives.

North Portal Estates

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