We Should Move the US Capitol to Kansas
Metropolis was founded in 1839, almost a century before Superman was conceived. It was named with something else entirely in mind. As the likely location where the New Orleans & Ohio Railroad would cross the river on its way to Chicago, the fledgling town was hoped to become, in quick succession: a traffic hub, the nucleus of a western District of Columbia, and eventually the new capital of a westward-expanding nation. As place-names go, Metropolis is both grand and bland — generic enough for an as yet nonexistent capital city.
Western D.C. never came to be , but the idea of moving the capital to a more central location isn’t as harebrained as it might sound. After all, the Founding Fathers chose the site of eastern D.C. because it was near enough to the geographical center of the original 13 states. This was partly because North and South begrudged each other the chance to host the capital, but also because centrality has a bunch of practical advantages .
As the American Empire took a westward course, so did the country’s geographical center. It moved away from Washington, D.C., zipping past Metropolis along the way. Until the admission of Alaska and Hawaii as full-fledged states, the center of the United States was usually situated near Lebanon, Kansas. After 1959, it moved to 20 miles north of Belle Fourche, South Dakota. America’s center and capital are now over 1,400 miles apart. To put that in perspective: Cancun, Mexico is closer to Washington’s corridors of power than Belle Fourche .
At present, nobody  is advocating that the three branches of the federal government uproot themselves from the banks of the Potomac to set up shop on the desolate Dakotan flatlands. Politicians from both parties ritually profess the desire to change the way Washington works; neither wants to change where the national government works. But what sounds impossiblein the United States has been done elsewhere in the world.
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