Pants by any other name

I am going to make a confession.  I did not watch the presidential debate. (Should that be capitalized?) I figured that if I wanted to hear 2 people bicker for an hour I would put my kids in a room with only one toy and call it good.  Unfortunately for me, I did watch some of the political commentary after the debate.  They talked a lot about Washington.  "The problem in Washington is...",  "What people want from Washington...",  "Washington needs to...".  Enough already.  I've decided that all these people really are, are the gossipy kids in high school that felt it was their duty to know everything about everyone, and then sit around and talk about it with anyone that would listen.  The difference is that if you sit around a shiny oak table, wearing a suit you actually get paid to spread your opinion.  Also you get to be on TV (which could be pretty cool).  If, however you stand around someone's locker  in between classes dishing what you know, that is uncompensated labor, and your news must be spread the old fashioned way -word of mouth. Talk about your grass- roots- community- organizers.  

The one I feel for in all of this though, is Washington.  Not the city.  Not the state, (although-they have sales tax and we don't, and we have a professional basketball team and they don't..  Poor people.).  No, I speak here of the Washington.  As in George.  This poor man gave his whole adult life to help start a new country.  He stood on a boat in the middle of an icy river in the middle of winter (obviously, hence the ice).  He probably walked uphill both ways to get to the Continental Congress - and what does he get?  His name, synonymous with all that is wrong with the government that he sacrificed to established.  If there is such a thing as taking someone's name in vain (and I think we can agree that there is) - this is it- don't you think?

 George Washington was a great president.  (My favorite is Lincoln, but Washington's in my top 3.)  The thing I have always liked about him (unless my political science professors were big fat liars) was that he didn't really want to be in charge, in government at least.  He had the chance to be  a King - he turned it down.  He could've stayed in the executive office longer, there was no precedent for him to leave, but he didn't stay.  He was a great leader because he served.  He didn't rule.  It is ironic that the city that bears his name has become a symbol of greed and selfishness and (according to a friend of mine that lives there) is kind of stinky.  Although...George probably was stinky - not great personal hygiene in the 18th century- but so was everybody else, so odds are no one noticed.

So, to protect the name of  poor George Washington, the mother of all Founding Fathers, I am proposing that we "rebrand" our nation's capital.  I think something with "gate" in its name.  That seems to be how we define the little episodes that make our government great.  Watergate, Lewinskygate, and the soon to be announced Big-banks-that-aren't-good-with-money-gate.  (I'm sending that one to whoever names these kinds of things, so watch for it.)  The best one I can think of is Gateysburg, (I know, not great).  It does, however, conjure a false sense of patriotic self sacrifice which, you gotta admit, works well.  We are, of course, taking public comment town hall style.  Maybe it could be like the "name the baby elephant" contest that the zoo ran last month.  All I know is that if we can organize half as well as the gossipy kids in high school, we'll have this thing done by November and the real Washington will finally be able to rest in peace.

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