Brow Beat

John Oliver Wrote a Catchy Children’s Song to Explain Why D.C. Should Be a State

John Oliver has made a compelling case for granting Washington, D.C. statehood. If that’s not super high on your list of priorities, join the club: Even last year a hearing in Congress had only two senators in attendance—a depressing guest list even for a one-year-old’s birthday party, as John Oliver put it. But with a population higher than Wyoming or Vermont, it’s hard to explain why taxpayers in D.C. have no real say in their government affairs. Even the Dalai Lama has weighed in to call the practice “quite strange.”

“It is not good when a guy from Tibet says, ‘Wow, this situation is really undemocratic,’ ” said Oliver.

D.C. might have a mayor and city council, but without full representation in Congress, its power to govern itself is about as limited and illusory as a student council president’s. For those who remain unconvinced, Oliver and a gaggle of children even put together a cheerful ditty that puts Schoolhouse Rock to shame.