The New Fifth District May Host The Olympics But Will It Represent Us?

Published 2:55 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How big is the new redistricted Fifth Congressional District?

In four years we'll host a separate presidential primary.

A seat at the UN is ours.

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Trade agreements with China will be concluded this summer.

And Fidel Castro thinks we're imperialist dogs.

Taking a cue from Woody Guthrie:

This district is your district.

This district is my district.

From North Carolina.

To the Potomac waters.

From the big Dan River.

To the skyline driving.

This district was made for you and me.

But being made for us and being good for us are two entirely different things and a degree of convincing will be necessary to prove the latter.

Newt Gingrich wants the moon to become the 51st state when its population reaches 13,000.

Earth to Newt: what about the Fifth Congressional District of Virginia? It was already bigger than Connecticut and now it's grown even larger. The Fifth District should be granted statehood.

Or forget mere statehood. Let's declare our national sovereignty in time to host the Olympic Games.

Taking a break from hyperbole, consider the facts.

Mount Rush in Buckingham is said to be the geographic center of Virginia. Now it's also the geographic center of the Fifth District, smack dab between Danville and a point in Fauquier County that is literally north of the Washington Monument and the halls of Congress.

Depending upon where our congressional representative happens to be in the Fifth District, he or she may actually head down to Washington, D.C. instead of up to the nation's capitol.

Looking at the new Fifth District, it appears to be roughly one quarter of the Commonwealth of Virginia's geographic land mass. Certainly more than one-fifth is our new Fifth.

Our Fifth may need to plead the fifth if accused of being an unwieldy behemoth devoid of any genuine community of interest.

Certainly, one can wonder if legislators drank a fifth before creating this Fifth.

How are we going to be effectively represented by our member of Congress?

And how could any one member of Congress effectively represent this huge Fifth District?

Certainly, no single political party can legitimately make the case that its philosophies represent the Fifth District. That was already true, proven by the district's electoral record of sending Democrats and Republicans to Washington, just as our national elections give both political parties repeated chances to lead the nation. The larger Fifth District enhances that dynamic.

We aren't conservative or liberal.

We are conservative and liberal.

And moderate.

And Libertarian.

We are Democrats and Republicans and Independents, and other things, as well.

We are Danville and Charlottesville and Warrenton and Lawrenceville.

An astute reader said the configuration of the new Fifth District looks like the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter-and it does-that divided the student body at Hogwarts into competing Houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin.

Our House district, divided, cannot stand, so we should not put down the other side with party politricks.

We are the other side and we need to lift all of us up.

We cast a spell on our future if we fail to grasp this truth.

There is no magic and there are no wizards to save us.

We must do that for ourselves, hand-in-hand.

Let us elect candidates who understand that truth, a truth that has only grown more powerful with the challenging length and breadth of our General Assembly-drawn Fifth District.

The General Assembly has given us no gift.

We are, regardless, responsible for unwrapping and sharing the present and the future.

That is our Olympic event.