Skip to comments.Opinion: Is Puerto Rican statehood the next “Latino” issue for conservatives?
Posted on 01/30/2013 2:12:35 PM PST by cll
With the Washington news cycle being dominated this week by a bipartisan comprehensive immigration framework that includes an earned path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, a group of conservative heavy hitters are trying to push another issue that affects over 3.5 million second-class U.S. citizens.
Yesterday morning at the National Press Club, the topic was Puerto Rican statehood, as the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles announced a new education campaign to convince fellow conservatives that making Puerto Rico the 51st state of the Union is the most American thing one can do. The LPCP rolled out an A list of guests, which included Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Luis Fortuño, the former Republican governor of Puerto Rico and one of the islands most ardent pro-statehood supporters.
I spoke to Alfonso Aguilar, the LPCPs Executive Director, after the conference. Now, I am not a pro-statehooder (read Why Puerto Rico Will Never Become the 51st State), but I do believe strongly that the U.S. should respect the islands latest non-binding plebiscite. Even with my initial skepticism, as I talked more and more with Aguilar, I concluded that he was incredibly qualified to lead the conservative charge about Puerto Ricos political status. Here are just some of his major points:
Puerto Ricans on the island are second-class U.S. citizens: Im passionately supportive of immigration reform, and I believe in giving a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants. As we think of giving a path to citizenship to 11 million undocumented immigrants, I think it is fitting to remember that there are 3.7 million U.S. citizens on the island that dont have full political rights. Puerto Ricans are not asking for citizenship. What they are asking for is a path for
(Excerpt) Read more at nbclatino.com ...
Maybe Puerto Rico could be added to Vermont. That way Vermont gets a seacoast, Puerto Ricans get places to ski, and the number of Democrat Senators stays the same.
If Puerto Rico became a state, would they still compete in the Olympics as if they were an independent country?
About Alaska and Hawaii: it's an interesting point. I don't think that everybody didn't say that, but you might have made an assumption 50 years ago that Alaska would follow other recently frontier states like Arizona or Montana, and at that time Arizona was solidly Democrat and Montana strongly tilted that way in Congressional elections. As for Hawaii, most of the Representatives in the territorial period were Republicans, as was one of the first Senators, Hiram Fong. So it's entirely possible that someone making a prediction back then would have gotten it wrong.
The difference between then, and now, though, is that politics is less determined by local issues and more by ideology. Old ethnic and religious tensions and conflicts aren't as much of a factor as they once were, but evangelical vs. non-evangelical and white vs. non-white did a lot to decide how people voted in the last election, and unless a lot more Puerto Ricans go evangelical very soon, we know what the numbers will mean. There may be a few surprises, but I think we pretty much know what the trend will be.
I was thinking NY, not FL.
Unfortunately, said GOP Governor just lost reelection and the Resident Commissioner is a Democrat. Add in the language situation, the per capita income, a full-throttle race baiting by the national Dem party and with the formal organization of the parties and PR would likely become a slightly more Conservative version of Hawaii. The GOP would be crazy to support statehood at the present time.
The party “nominally” aligned with the GOP is the New Progressive Party. While many of its members are aligned with the GOP, many prominent members are national Democrats (such as ex-Govs. Pedro Rosselló and Carlos Romero Barceló, along with the current Resident Commissioner, Pedro R. Pierluisi).
Frustratingly, when the Republican-aligned ex-Governor, Luis Fortuño, ran on the 2008 and 2012 tickets, he excitedly endorsed Democrat Pierluisi (who won even as Fortuño lost). Had Pierluisi lost, he would’ve been replaced with, yup, a member of the Popular Democrats, meaning still another Democrat (although the Populares actually oppose statehood). To put it simply, the GOP didn’t even have a candidate running for the sole federal office... it was a race between two Democrats.
Aside from Fortuño’s single win in 2008, the last Republican to win the Governorship was Don Luis Ferré in 1968 (despite the Progressive Party winning on some other occasions since, but again, ALL its other Governors were Democrat-aligned, as were the Popular Democrats and its new Governor, a Populare). Those two men were the sole Republicans to win the Governorship since the popular vote was instituted in the 1940s.
I think we should unload Hawaii first.
In effect the provincial Liberal Party was the conservative party in local politics, and Jean Charest, a Conservative Party leader in national politics, like didn't have much choice but to become a Liberal when he wanted to run for Premier of Quebec.
FWIW, Charest also had birth certificate troubles, as his legal birth name was "John" rather than "Jean."
If Puerto Rico were to become a state the anomalies would iron out and it would become a pretty solidly Democrat state.
Well, one problem in Quebec is that there’s no Conservative Party, one reason Charest had no choice but to switch parties in order to assume a leadership position at the provincial level. The Canadian provincial vs. federal system is a bit byzantine, anyhow.
PR is really the only locale in the U.S. that doesn’t have officeholders formally aligned with the “D” or “R” parties on the ballot, though most will declare their preferences for which mainland party Presidential candidates they’d support (although Nebraska’s unicameral legislature is probably another — all win on a “non partisan” ticket, though most folks can discern which pols tend to be aligned with one party or another).
Even if race or language became a non-issue there, the fact that admitting a state with an incredibly low per capita income is just a plain bad idea. Welfare would become (if it already isn’t) the preeminent issue. PR would become the poorest state in the nation, making Mississippi look rich by comparison.
But even getting back to language, though it isn’t equal to Quebec in Canada, PQ should be a warning when you have a “distinct culture” separate and apart from the majority. It may be cute and quaint, but it causes too many problems. Instead of buckling to the Francophones, back in the 19th century, Ottawa should’ve set a timetable to anglicize Quebec. In failing to do so, Canada as a whole was weakened, because they bend over backwards to accommodate and patronize an ethnic minority at the expense of the majority, while the ethnic minority is not expected to show similar courtesy to the ethnic majority (prime example is how the English-speaking provinces must accommodate Francophones... but as soon as you’re in Quebec, you might as well be in France, because not even road signs are in English).
If the USA had allowed such measures with its individual states, we’d have had a nightmare scenario. Imagine a French Louisiana, Rhode Island & Maine, Gaelic Massachusetts, Swedish Delaware, Dutch New York, German Pennsylvania, Spanish Florida & Texas, Russian Alaska, et al.
Although I have respect for our fellow FReepers who favor admittance and would personally be happy to assimilate and become a part of the mainland GOP as Conservatives, personally, I think either status quo or independence is the way to go. Let Puerto Ricans be in charge of their own destiny and not yield to the morass and statism of DC. Same goes for my opinion of Hawaii. They should be cut loose as well, as they’ve demonstrated with their elected officials to be quite supportive of ultra-radical leftist politics and help to maintain the disastrous status quo in DC via their 2 execrable Senators.
“Please read before flaming...”
No flaming here. I am not Hispanic and know no one in Puerto Rico or anyone of Puerto Rican heritage. But over the years, I’ve read enough on this issue.
I would really prefer that Puerto Rico not become a state. I believe, like other posters on this thread believe, that Puerto Rico would become a Dem stronghold.
But as a territory of the United States, they have the same right to ask for statehood as any previous territory did - as the territory of Minnesota (my state) did in 1858. In 2012, the citizens of Puerto Rico have asked for statehood. I believe that Congress needs to honor that request regardless of the political ramifications.
Something to think about:
(From the above link:)
The Social Security Administration’s inspector general is investigating a case of potentially widespread disability fraud in Puerto Rico, two people familiar with the matter said, part of the agency’s stepped-up efforts to tackle abuses in the financially struggling program.
[SSDI] United Press International
Inspector General Patrick O’Carroll testifying before Congress in July.
The inspector general, Patrick O’Carroll, told an audience at an Aug. 30 disability-examiners conference that the investigation was tied to a pharmaceutical plant that recently closed in Puerto Rico, with 300 employees losing their jobs.
Shortly after the layoff, 290 of the 300 former employees applied for Social Security disability benefits and they all used the same doctor...
I don't think that's true.
...what about the Commonwealth of Virginia? It is a commonwealth, right?
but most Puerto Ricans are a little more savvy than the Democrat Party gives them credit for; they'd rather keep their money in their pockets than be able to vote for the likes of Obama, and I can't blame them.
I agree with you, Romney certainly is "the likes of Obama", and I can't blame anybody for not wanting to vote for one of them.
Agreed. The left simply seeks more victims to create. exploit and community organize. The effort is well underway to drag them kicking and screaming to accept the servitude that the left has decided is best for them -read all about it here -it is being worked right now and the propaganda campaign is well underway:
By P.J. Gladnick | April 29, 2010
Don't tell anybody but Congress is scheduled to vote today on H.R. 2499, a bill that could end up paving the way to Puerto Rican statehood, that is being presented with such incredible stealth that it has been given almost no coverage in the mainstream media. In fact, about the only person in the media shining a light on this bill until recently has been Glenn Beck. Liberals can be expected to write off Beck's criticisms of H.R. 2499 as just another example of "right-wing kookery." Frances Martel of Mediaite has already mocked Beck for his opposition to this bill.
However, liberals will have a hard time writing off similar criticisms of the stealth Puerto Rico status bill being made by liberal Democrat Luis Gutierrez of Illinois who is of Puerto Rican descent. While reading Guiterrez slamming H.R. 249 in his Huffington Post blog, you sometimes have to slap yourself as a reminder that these criticisms are not coming from a conservative Republican...or Glenn Beck:
Did they really vote for statehood or was the electorate and vote manipulated under the "Puerto Rico Democracy Act" (aka the leftist subversion of the Puerto Rican electorate Act) as suggested here?
Seems they have one of the highest rate of scammers... yeah, that’s charming.
CAGUAS, Puerto RicoThis mountainside town is home to a picturesque cathedral, a tobacco museum and a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Another defining feature: Caguas’s 00725 zip code has more people who receive a disability check than any other in the U.S.
I’d prefer they became independent.
It looks like the GOPe is on a path to be every bit as beholden to the Latino lobby as Dems are to blacks.
"In my opinion, Congress has no existence and can exercise no authority outside of the Constitution. Still less is it true that Congress can deal with new territories just as other nations have done or may do with their new territories. This nation is under the control of a written constitution, the supreme law of the land and the only source of the powers which our government, or any branch or officer of it, may exert at any time or at any place. Monarchical and despotic governments, unrestrained by written constitutions, may do with newly acquired territories what this government may not do consistently with our fundamental law. To say otherwise is to concede that Congress may, by action taken outside of the Constitution, engraft upon our republican institutions a colonial system such as exists under monarchical governments. Surely such a result was never contemplated by the fathers of the Constitution. If that instrument had contained a word suggesting the possibility of a result of that character it would never have been adopted by the people of the United States. The idea that this country may acquire territories anywhere upon the earth, by conquest or treaty, and hold them as mere colonies or provinces,the people inhabiting them to enjoy only such rights as Congress chooses to accord to them,is wholly inconsistent with the spirit and genius, as well as with the words, of the Constitution." - Justice John Harlan, dissenting in the Insular Cases, 1901
you are always on the mark
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