The Boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland

The people of Washington D.C. have no democratic power so they are forced to try to use their economic power to protect the basic freedoms all other Americans take for granted. That is why D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) and the group D.C. Votes are urging people to boycott Maryland’s Eastern Shore if you believe in the most basic principles of democracy.

The problem is the shameful rules governing D.C. deny the 650,000 living in it any representation in Congress, yet Congress has the power to overturn local laws in D.C. or impose new ones. Rep. Andy Harris, the Republican who represents Maryland’s coastal 1st district, decided to abuse this unfair power by forcing his will on the people of D.C.

From the Washington Post:

“I don’t think we should support someone who doesn’t support us, who doesn’t support democracy, period,” the mayor said Wednesday after a news conference at which he decried Harris’s actions as “hypocrisy at its worst.”

The nonprofit group D.C. Vote called for an all-out boycott of vacation spots in the 1st Congressional District, saying Harris “acted in wanton disregard” of the views of D.C. residents. A January Washington Post poll found that roughly eight in 10 city residents support legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana.

If the boycott catches on, it could be very damaging to the economy in eastern Maryland, which is heavily dependent on tourism during the summer months.

Rep. Harris obviously doesn’t believe all Americans are entitled to basic democratic rights, but his constituents still have a vote in Congress and at least they can use that against Harris after he decided to put their livelihood at risk.

Photo by Lee Cannon under Creative Commons license