Everyone knows that there are 50 states in the United States of America. We learn them all as kids, usually by singing some sort of rhyming tune.
However, the one major part of our country that won't be included in any song about the 50 states you learn is our nation's capital, Washington, D.C. That's because Washington, D.C. isn't a state, of course, a fact that John Oliver devoted his top story to on Sunday night's episode of Last Week Tonight.
Oliver argued that it's a sad reality for the residents of Washington, D.C., who are required to pay federal taxes and can fight in wars but don't have a representative in Congress and whose city government is still under the purview of the federal government. The Last Week Tonight host showed how all of that can be difficult for Washington, D.C., not only because residents see it as undemocratic, as expressed through their license plates that read "Taxation Without Representation," but also because Congress can step in and pass riders that change laws or prevent important measures from passing.
In an effort to get us thinking about Washington, D.C. statehood, Oliver closed out Sunday night's episode of Last Week Tonight with a new song about the 50 states that he sang with the help of a children's chorus. Well, the song didn't so much add Washington, D.C. in with the other states as it did point out how much it gets shafted by not being a full-fledged state. The song also suggested getting rid of Florida in case this is a no-more-than-50-states type of situation.
However, Oliver and his Last Week Tonight crew did add a 51st star to the American flag used throughout the segment, which you probably won't notice even after reading about it here. So perhaps Washington, D.C.'s statehood doesn't depend on kicking out the Sunshine State after all.
Check out the full Last Week Tonight segment and song below.