Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

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    A Liver Made Fullmetal Misato Katsuragi's Avatar
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    Default Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    I did briefly mention this in the 2012 election thread in the Campaign Bus, but (unless I am mistaken, mods, in which case, feel free to move this) this seems like something that could be discussed here. So what does everyone think about this development?

    It should be noted that just because Puerto Rico voted for this, it's not necessarily going to happen; iirc, I believe that Congress and the President have to approve a territory becoming a state before it can officially happen.

    Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers breaks it down here:


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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    When did a territory last time become a state in the US, now that I think about it? Wasn't it over 100 years ago?
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    1951, with the Alaska and Hawaii territories being admitted into the union as full states.

    It's a neat idea and I'm not really against it, more tax money is always nice. However, I've been making the joke that we should demote Florida to territory status if Puerto Rico joins as a state, because it took them until today to call a winner in the election. They're always screwing up electoral counting, they're not american! >:O
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    I'm for it, but PR might have a tough time getting Congress to approve.

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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    I don't see why Congress would block it, but welcome aboard Puerto Rico (hopefully they'll join)!
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith Droideka View Post
    I don't see why Congress would block it, but welcome aboard Puerto Rico (hopefully they'll join)!
    House republicans might not be eager for a new state with a high Hispanic population, especially since they've had a lot of trouble courting Hispanic voters in the past.

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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin View Post
    1951, with the Alaska and Hawaii territories being admitted into the union as full states.

    It's a neat idea and I'm not really against it, more tax money is always nice. However, I've been making the joke that we should demote Florida to territory status if Puerto Rico joins as a state, because it took them until today to call a winner in the election. They're always screwing up electoral counting, they're not american! >:O
    *1959, sorry for the correction, but yeah...

    Personally, I think it would be good to add a Spanish-speaking state to the Union. It would make our culture a little more interesting culturally, and many, many countries have regions with significant language minorities. Puerto Rico, however, has a high unemployment and poverty rate, far greater than any other state. The thing is, though, that they already receive federal aid, and don't pay income taxes as a territory. Income taxes are already unequally distributed (most large states, like California, pay more taxes than they receive back from the federal government). It's extremely unlikely that Puerto Rico will pay for all of its aid, but there will be a source of revenue that never existed before.

    Regarding the political situation, I think there will be debate in Congress. But here are the party platforms for 2012:


    While both are "in favor" of admitting Puerto Rico if the residents vote for it, there could be trouble because Puerto Rico will most likely definitely be a blue state. However, I suspect that, as Republicans need to adapt their policies to be more favorable among the changing demographics fo the U.S., they might be more supportive than one might expect from the economic and, yes, language standpoint.

    I hope that Congress respects the wishes of their fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and decides to admit the island as a state.
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin View Post
    It's a neat idea and I'm not really against it, more tax money is always nice. However, I've been making the joke that we should demote Florida to territory status if Puerto Rico joins as a state, because it took them until today to call a winner in the election. They're always screwing up electoral counting, they're not american! >:O
    We're not complete idiots, we just go at a different pace than the rest of the country. >:I

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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    This could provide a needed boost to our economy: We'll have to replace EVERY. SINGLE. FLAG.

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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    Ah, don't worry about partisan politics. The Republicans in Congress will be desperate for the Hispanic vote, and bringing in Puerto Rico would be seen by them as a promotion of Hispanics. And also, the smart ones know that majorities do not last forever. Over time, the South, the North, and the black vote have shifted; so too will the Hispanic population (and remember, Congress brought in Alaska in 1959 despite knowing that it would probably be Republican).
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    I think it would be fantastic to see a new state added to the US in my lifetime, I wonder how long it will take for all the paperwork and political stuff gets sorted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Master Mew View Post
    This could provide a needed boost to our economy: We'll have to replace EVERY. SINGLE. FLAG.
    Unfortunately nothing to go straight to the government as it is illegal to charge taxes on the US flag within the US. But the added revenue into the businesses could be a big boost.

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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    Puerto Rico might want to rewrite its constitution, which could take a while too.

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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith Droideka View Post
    Over time, the South, the North, and the black vote have shifted; so too will the Hispanic population (and remember, Congress brought in Alaska in 1959 despite knowing that it would probably be Republican).
    Without turning this into a discussion more appropriate for the Campaign Bus, in the cases you're mentioning, it was more that the two major parties' policies totally changed than the actual concerns of those demographics did.

    Also, Alaska and Hawaii were both admitted to the union at the same time, so I'm pretty sure that the political composition of Congress in 1959 didn't have much to do with it since those states tend to be on opposite ends of the political spectrum and have been throughout their histories (with the exception of electoral landslides like 1964, 1972 and 1984).

    Anyway, since I didn't say much about how I felt about this, I'll say now I'm pretty excited, just to be alive during such a historic moment as a new state being admitted into the union, and I feel hopeful about the party platforms quoted above meaning that politics won't get into it too much. It is interesting that among all the big historical milestones that happened on Tuesday (first openly gay Senator, first disabled Congresswoman, etc.) that this would probably be the biggest thing if PR's statehood is approved.

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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    Quote Originally Posted by Goodbye Blue Monday View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sith Droideka View Post
    Over time, the South, the North, and the black vote have shifted; so too will the Hispanic population (and remember, Congress brought in Alaska in 1959 despite knowing that it would probably be Republican).
    Without turning this into a discussion more appropriate for the Campaign Bus, in the cases you're mentioning, it was more that the two major parties' policies totally changed than the actual concerns of those demographics did.
    That's part of it, but I think it was the social conservatism of those demographics (which has scarcely changed, either in regard to demographics or parties) that deemed them likely Republican to begin with.

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    A Liver Made Fullmetal Misato Katsuragi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Puerto Rico Votes to Become 51st U.S. State

    @Master Mew; "Social conservatism" as we understand it now wasn't really a thing until the middle of the 20th century. The original political re-alignment of both the formerly "Solid South" as well as African-American voters was pretty much entirely about desegregation; the rise of the religious right only came later, and it didn't affect African-American voters because of the GOP's history on race issues, and it still doesn't because the Republican Party tends to be at odds with most black voters on fiscal issues. Just because someone is socially-conservative doesn't mean they pick their candidates that way, and repeatedly the GOP hope of appealing to African-American voters over those issues has not worked out; this election in particular should have sounded the death knell on that notion.

    A lot of Hispanic voters did vote Republican in the past (Bush got 44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004, for example, compared to Romney's 27%), until the party embraced its current hard-line stance on immigration. Bush's administration had a more moderate course planned for the issue before the intra-party revolt on the issue in 2006.

    Anyway, I really want don't want to turn this into a political debate and get it moved to the Bus, and this is getting pretty far afield from the original topic anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialgarules View Post
    Puerto Rico might want to rewrite its constitution, which could take a while too.
    Yeah, that could take a while, depending on how much they'd need to rewrite. What about it specifically prohibits statehood? (Or do you mean that it's at odds with some aspect of rights in the U.S. Constitution? Because those clauses don't necessarily need to be re-written; they're just invalidated. Hence why there are unenforceable things about religious tests for voting in a bunch of state Constitutions that have never been removed, because they don't need to be and it would just waste time better spent debating and voting on real shit.)
    Last edited by Misato Katsuragi; 12th November 2012 at 10:47 PM.

    Hi, I'm Rose. I love music, alcohol, pointless Internet debates and being a snob about my choices in entertainment. I write a lot. You can read some of my writing at Autostraddle.com, the best site for LBTQ women on the Internet, where I am a staff writer. Or the funhouse that is my tumblr. I also write music sometimes, and post the better fruits of my labors on my SoundCloud.

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