DC resident and first amendment attorney/guru to WLDC Kevin Goldberg put together this guest piece for us and we are behind its sentiment 100%
An open letter to invading masses,
I love DC. I’ll even say flat out that I love DC more than you. I grew up the DC area (Rockville represent!!!), have lived in the DC area (or within 2 hours from DC) for pretty my entire 39 years (and 2 days) and, finally moved into the city itself in 2004.
Before I get to my request, let me make one thing clear, in the interest of full disclosure. I’m not one of you. I don’t agree with your politics. I’m not going to attend the “Restoring Honor” rally this Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial. But, since my politics are pretty much “First Amendment and then everything else,” I 100 percent, wholeheartedly, embrace your right to converge on my city and speak your minds.
What I don’t embrace is the way you treat my city whenever you come here. I’m not going to snark DC-wise on things like standing to the left on the Metro escalators or jamming up restaurants I wouldn’t want to eat at anyway while ignoring the hidden gems that make this city’s food scene one of the most underrated in your country. That’s too easy and it’s been done. Instead, I’m talking trash. Every time there has been a Tea Party affiliated, based or ideologically connected event on or near the Mall, the landscape takes on a post-apocalyptic feel afterward. Trash everywhere. Discarded signs litter the pavement and sidewalks, strewn amidst empty water bottles, food containers and soda cups. Maybe tomorrow will be different, but I’m not counting on it and I’m obviously already affected by it.
So, if I have but one simple request for you this weekend, it’s this: pick up after yourselves.
OK, OK, I know that, to some extent, I signed up for this. I chose to live in Penn Quarter because it’s in the middle of everything and with that come the little inconveniences. I also know that it’s somewhat unfair to blame your ilk when your ideological opponents are probably just as guilty. And, finally, I know that this isn’t officially a “Tea Party” event but, let’s face it, there IS a connection, spiritually, if not officially and I’ve already begun to see the tea party paraphernalia as I wait to get out of the subway at Metro Center (sorry, I know I said wouldn’t go there).
So why am I picking on you? Because the excessive trash I’ll probably have to dodge on my way seems so contrary to the values you espouse and the very reason you’re going to be visiting with us this weekend. This weekend is about “Restoring Honor.” I keep hearing about how you love America so much. I understand that you have so much national pride to exhibit that the trash cans literally can’t contain it all. I’m sorry, that’s no excuse. If you really love America and want to restore honor to our nation, you’ll stop trashing the nation’s capital. If you really want to show us the love, go the extra mile. It doesn’t take much effort to hold on to that sign just a little longer, until you find an empty receptacle, or even until you get back to your hotel room.
Oh, and since you’re so interested in giving power back to the people, take just a minute as well to support giving DC citizens a voting member of Congress. Because I can’t understand that either: your name derives from a movement opposed to Taxation Without Representation, but all the candidates you support and are likely to vote for keep preventing DC from enjoying that same basic freedom.
Thanks, I hope you enjoy your stay in the best city anywhere.