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Statehood for District of Columbia Is a VERY Bad Idea

Statehood for District of Columbia Is a VERY Bad Idea

Prior to the Civil War, the issue of adding new states to the Union was hung up on the slavery issue. At the time, the United States held a lot of real estate west of the Mississippi River (territories) that needed to be subdivided into states.  There was also the issue of admitting Cuba as one of the United States. 

Congress faced the problem of not being able to add a free-state without adding a slave-state.  That is how we lost Cuba.

The Missouri Compromise of 1820 enabled Missouri to join the Union as a slave state, but only if Maine was admitted as a free state.  The issue came to a head with the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act nullifying the Missouri Compromise and allowing slavery in the new territories. And so the Civil War was on.

With slavery no longer an issue, the process of adding states moved forward. But divided opinion still played a role in the admission of Alaska and Hawaii in 1959.  This time it was the partisan divide.  Alaska was admitted as a predominantly Republican state. Hawaii was let in as a more Democrat state.

The United States still holds geography that could be granted statehood status – most notably Puerto Rico.  The District of Columbia is a whole different issue, however.

Democrats say that giving the District statehood would provide the residents with the full benefits of citizenship. 

They resurrect the old cry, “taxation without representation.”  That all sounds good.  But they already have such benefits.  It can even be fairly argued that they have more benefits than the folks living in the 50 states.

In 1961, the Twenty-Third Amendment to the Constitution was enacted. This allows residents of the District to vote in presidential elections – sending delegates to the Electoral College.  In 1973, the Home Rule Act was passed to enable residents to elect their own municipal officials.

Thanks to reforms in the mid-Twentieth Century, the people of the District now elect their own representative in Congress.  While that representative does not vote, he or she can participate in committee deliberations – and represent the interests of the people of the District just as others represent their districts back home.

The people of the District have an advantage over others.  They essentially have more than just one representative in Congress.  They have an entire committee of Congress to solely address the concerns of the people living in the District.  And they have an advantage in obtaining funding from the federal government.  These defy the suggestion that the people of the District are suffering from “taxation without representation.”

At approximately ten square miles, the District would be the tiniest state in the Union – essentially a city- state – and a very tiny city-state.  More importantly, turning the District into a state would put the entire federal government under the jurisdiction of one state – exactly what the Founders wisely wanted to avoid.

As a state, the District would have an entirely new third level of government – state government.  In other words, those same ten tiny square miles would be ruled over by a city, state and federal governments.

Then there is the question as to whether the District can be converted to a state. 

The original land for the District was provided by both Virginia and Maryland.  The land that was originally donated by Virginia – Alexandria — was given back in what was called retrocession.  All the land that now composes the District was the land donated by Maryland.  Based on the Virginia precedent, many historians and constitutional scholars believe that IF the federal government wishes to end the District status, the land must revert to Maryland – as was the land donated by Virginia.

An alternative to statehood that does not get a lot of media attention is retroceding most of the residential portion of the District to Maryland and maintain a smaller federal District.

Democrat attempts to convert the District to a city-state show an utter contempt for the tradition and rationale behind the creation of the District.  They are not interested in the affairs of the people of the District.  They simply want to tighten their grip on permanent empowerment by capriciously adding more Democrat members to the Congress.

In every way, converting the District of Colombia is a VERY bad idea founded on nothing more than political avarice.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Robert6391

    Please explain to me why those living in DC should not be represented in the Congress of this USA, just like everyone else. They pay taxes and earn income and do just about everything that every other citizen does who has a representative in Congress yet they do not have that voice in the legislation of this USA.
    I do understand that the majority may not vote the way some would like them to vote so we will just keep them out of the political process like a lot of US possessions around the World. Possibly just like the voting laws passed in only RED states when no actual proof of any wrong doing was proven in either the 2016 or 2020 elections, yet we get laws forced upon the people which are proven to make it harder for those to vote other than on election day and with less voting machines per capita than in minority districts.

    • Richard U

      The voting laws which you refer to actually would make or keep fairer elections for everyone. To assume that low-income minorities cannot obtain the basic ID necessary to vote is, in itself, the bigotry of low-expectations, not to mention ridiculous. It takes an ID to do everything else in society, even things that are in no way as important as casting a ballot. If even 1 illegal vote (whether by a dead person, any illegal immigrant, a double-vote by mail, etc) is cast, then that negates my legal vote, and essentially disenfranchises me and my vote. So, strict adherence to voting regulations is necessary for a free society to govern itself.

  2. Hatman1793

    DC cannot become a State regardless of the phoney machinations of the power-hungry House democrats & the endorsement of His Fraudulencey, Mad King Biden*.

    SCOTUS would easily rule the law as Unconstitutional & direct Cali-hag millionairess Pelosi to seek a constitutional amendment to satisfy her blatant power grab. Which would spectacularly fail.

    Better yet, as suggested by Larry, give back all *unessential* land back to Maryland, shrink DC to the bare minimum & tell the democrat Congress majority to go to hell.

    • Kurt

      I totally disagree with you. Do you wanna fight? do you want to fight with your fists or wrestle?

  3. steve

    The seven hundred or so thousand so called disenfranchised DC citizens should be counted in the state of Virginia’s election results and forget the statehood debacle. But this will not happen because the left wing nut jobs on the demoncrap side of the isle want to rule , not govern. These people that think a one world government will somehow be the cat’s meow are in for a rude awakening. The end result will be nothing like they envision , but more like Chinese communist rule world wide , with no room or tolerance for any opinion other than the “Parties” will and opinion. These young people that think “change” is cool and they will benefit from a drastic retreat from democracy and personal freedom are the ones in for the biggest surprise of all. Their bullying tactics and violent actions will not be tolerated for one millisecond by a “New” regime. Can you say “Bullets by the Bushels” ?

    • Ben

      Steve, your party is the minority party. Your platform is not popular with voters. The is no age demographic that you won until you get to 55+. No majority of any race, other than white votes Republican.
      You can have bushels of bullets, but by using them, you subvert the very democracy you claim to care so deeply about.

  4. Joseph S. Bruder

    Have you ever tried to contact a Senator or Representative from another state who sits on (or even is Chair) of a committee, on a bill that affects you? They filter you out by zip code or telephone number, and won’t take even the simplest message. What makes you think that DC residents get any better? And what good is representation if the member can’t vote?

    There are more people in DC than Vermont or Wyoming. If you combined all the territories (not including Puerto Rico), they would have more population that the lowest 6 or 8 states. Puerto Rico is larger than about 20 states. And yet, North and South Dakota were split just to give more seats in Congress to one party. Would you consider recombining them? (And they would still be in the smallest 10 states).

    Why do you think it’s OK for some people to not have voting representation, and others to have more? Just because (for now) they align with your party? That’s the same argument Republicans are using to change voting laws – if the rules were fair and honest, the Republican Party would be completely dead. On most issues, they consistently are polling on the wrong side of a 60/40 split. The flip side of that is that it got so unfair that it was easily recognizable, and people came out in droves to rectify the situation. So now, Republicans want to change the rules even more. Democrats want a fair fight, and for everyone to have an equal vote.

  5. Ben

    Larry, you could have saved yourself a lot of writing… “ DC shouldn’t be a State because they will vote for the Democratic Party”.
    I like how you focus on land mass instead of population. And what the founding father would have wanted… come on, at least be intellectually honest about it.

    • Charles Sever

      The corrupt, criminal democrats have their right to vote, all they have to do is show their Voter ID card. The only thing they don’t have is the Electoral College, they have none, but like I have said they do have a vote.