I’m talking to you, Puerto Rico. And you, District of Columbia. And …

Territories, federal districts, protectorates; whatever you call them, their very existence violates one of the foundational principles of this country.

No taxation without representation.

In the United States, this is repeated at us endlessly, from elementary level history to Schoolhouse Rock.

We’re told its why we’re a country in the first place. You know, the Boston Tea Party and all that?

It’s clearly a very important principle in the story we tell ourselves about what it means to be American.

So why, after more than 200 years, does this country still have over 4 million citizens with no federal representation?

Well, profit and control obviously; that’s why anything. But leaving that aside …

(Also being left aside for the moment: the absolutely ludicrous state of the United States’ relationship with the allegedly sovereign tribal nations inside its borders. That one’s a total mess.)

This one can be fixed with a small change to the Constitution requiring that all territrory controlled by the United States in which any citizen resides must also be part of one of the states.

Come on in, Puerto Rico, D.C., all of you.

There’s no good reason you should not be represented in the government (as well as having your own local state governments), and it’s a disgrace to history that you don’t already.

And it’s a shame on the Founders that the Constitution doesn’t already require this.

But we can fix this one.

We’d need to build a new capital city, with no resident housing inside the federal borders (and we’d need to somehow deal with D.C.), but that’s a small price to pay for fixing such a fundamentally hypocritical error in how the U.S. is structured.

My kids are in elementary school and they can understand this one. What the hell is wrong with this country that this is still happening?

Leave a Reply