Trump won just 4 percent of the District of Columbia vote in the 2016 election. Of course, many of the nearly 44,000 people in the stadium — with standing-room-only tickets surpassing the $1,000 mark — didn’t actually live in D.C.
But first let’s explain, once again, to the nation that D.C. is not the federal government. It is a town with plenty of people who were born, raised and educated here. It’s not just this town. It’s our town.
“Washington can be an isolating and serious place to live sometimes, considering the steady influx of tourists, the underlying tension of politics and the residents who come and go, depending on the administration. It’s uncommon to meet a Washington native, and it takes a lot for Washingtonians to get excited about the same thing. Calling it a fun-loving city would be a stretch.”
Go to a go-go or join the older folks hand-dancing at a wedding and see how fun-loving D.C. is.
Stop and groove a little to the bucket drummers, listen to those two kids playing trombone near the National Archives or watch the cars cruise Hains Point, and D.C. won’t seem serious at all.
Witness the streets of D.C. the night Barack Obama was elected or the night Osama bin Laden was killed, and you’ll know how excited this city can get.
Talk to the administrative assistants, the security guards or the scores of office workers in downtown D.C. who help run the place — and not just the lobbyist or lawyer who commutes in from Virginia and has garage parking as part of the employment package — and you’ll meet plenty of Washington natives.
To be fair, recent census data shows that the majority of current D.C. residents are, indeed, transplants. Only about 28 percent of adults living in D.C. today were born here. And a map created by the D.C. Policy Center shows the stark contrast of where D.C. natives live, showing barely 2 percent of the population in Foggy Bottom as D.C.-born, while east of the Anacostia River, about 80 percent of the residents were born here.
But there are also transplants like me who are not transients, who have set roots in the city and birthed new D.C. natives. This is an American city, not just a white dome and dark suits. And it’s time to remind folks across the nation of that as they worry that rooting for the Nationals means siding with the official Washington they love to hate.
There is no denying that the Nationals’ fan base is largely white.
That’s despite the fact that the last D.C. team to play in a World Series wasn’t actually the 1933 Senators. It was the Homestead Grays, who dominated Negro League baseball for more than a decade straddling the 1930s and ’40s.
Locals have lamented the weak presence of youth baseball in the city, especially east of the river. And that’s what motivated Vincent Gray to push for the spectacular Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy to be constructed there in 2014, back when the current D.C. Council member was mayor.
Still, youth baseball leagues are expensive, and that ends up having an impact on sports fandom.
So it’s easy to scan the stands in Nationals Park and find Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) or former senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) among the out-of-town faces and know that the Nationals fans aren’t totally representative of the place once known as Chocolate City.
Or you could just look at the conga line of Virginia plates in my D.C. neighborhood near the stadium all weekend to come to the same conclusion.
Yes, that stadium was filled with fans from Virginia, who have no major league team of their own. It was filled with transplants sent to Washington by American voters. It had Republicans and Democrats, lobbyists, lawyers, senators, journalists and others who had the money or influence to get their hands on a coveted ticket.
And when that stadium erupted in booing for Trump, they joined the 96 percent of D.C. voters outside the walls of that stadium in affirming the one thing nearly all Washington residents are united on.
D.C. is anything but divided on this.