Washington City Paper: Are you aware that citizens of Washington, D.C., have no vote in Congress? British Expat: What? Why don’t they?
[Though his familiarity with British politics is limited to the lyrics of the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life,” your correspondent attempts to explain the D.C. voting rights debate to an Englishman using tenuous analogies in re: “Parliament” and the “House of Lords.”]
BEP: Right. So they don’t want people voting twice. Like, since you control the city, you don’t get to vote again [nationally].
Well, yes…but that means that normal people—-normal people like me, a lowly journalist who has no control over Congress or legislative power—-can’t vote. So it’s not fair.
Greek #1: So you can’t vote.
BEP: I find it a relief. G#1: It’s completely against the principles of democracy. All should have the right to vote. Since you live in the house of the wolf —-
“In the house of the wolf?”
G#1: Another way to say is…if you live in a bucket of shit. If you live in a bucket of shit, you can’t tell what’s shit. [Since Washingtonians live in a bucket of shit, this charming colloquialism would seem to imply that Washingtonians should not have voting rights, contradicting G#1’s initial strong pro-vote stance. Your correspondent allows the contradiction to pass unremarked-upon.]
BEP: But whoever you vote for, the government wins…so it would seem that politics isn’t on your mind. Because you’ve got no power.
G#1: But they can’t say “I want this asshole more than that asshole.”
BEP: Why are you asking us what we think about it? What do you think about it?
[Your correspondent and his traveling companion, both Washingtonians, confer.] Traveling Companion: I guess it never really bothered me.
Well…I mean…[Your correspondent contemplates the electoral college and the Founding Fathers’ attempt to build a federal city not aligned with the interests of any particular state.] I mean…I guess I understand it too. Why should D.C. – a district, not a state – have a vote? [Your correspondent, a member of the DC Statehood Green Party who has attended pro-statehood events and played pro-statehood benefit shows, realizes that he really doesn’t care about D.C. statehood and has a crisis of faith. End of interview.]