Not the Senators. Not for my team.
The national pastime is coming back to the nation's capital, and some want the name of the baseball team to be, once again, the Senators.
I say absolutely not.
We have 100 senators, and not one represents me. I didn't vote for any of them.
On occasion, some of these senators say good things about the District, or introduce, co-sponsor or even vote for legislation that benefits the city. But not one is from or of the District. They all are just passing through. How long will it take us to stop playing make-believe?
Why does the District continue to be a willing co-conspirator in the charade that its citizens are full participants in American democracy?
The District is excluded from our national legislature. This is not accidental. It is not an oversight, a bureaucratic slip-up or a technical omission. So let's stop deluding ourselves. And let's not single ourselves out for further abuse by permitting our baseball team to be named the Senators.
I came to the District from Chicago 40 years ago. Chicago has a real sense of place. It doesn't borrow from anyone. It is sure of itself. The last thing it ever would do is call itself something it isn't or say it had something it didn't have. Only in the District are we so desperate to bask in reflected glory that we would call ourselves something everyone knows is false.
I understand and appreciate nostalgia. I know it can be powerful. But let's not confuse nostalgia with reality. The District doesn't have senators, so why perpetuate a lie? What better time to discard our accommodating way, our passive personality and insist -- no, demand -- that we name our team right?
I don't know what that right name is. My preference would be the Washington Subjects or the Washington Serfs or the Washington Disenfranchised. That won't happen, I know. Those names too accurately reflect our true status.
I'll be the first in line and the loudest and most vehement in naming our team the Senators on that day when the District actually seats two U.S. senators.
But until then, let us find a better name for our team and tell the country that we are through with calling ourselves something that is not true.
-- Mark Plotkin
is WTOP radio's