The question of Puerto Rico statehood and its political repercussions

Branching off from this post:

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but really, why would PR want to join this bullshit, and why the hell do we just presume they do?


Presume? Who’s presuming? Why would you presume that they wouldn’t?

How about we follow the procedure and have them vote?

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because the united states sucks, because the united states hates brown people, because half of the country has thrown so much hate their way why would they want to join…

How about they have had 50 years or more to decide and they’ve decided no - what’s changed? Certainly not getting more love from us right now. What - they should join because its politically convenient for you?

And yet, I am in favor of them having a choice. Are you actually arguing against my position that they should have a choice? Whaaa?


Maybe because they voted for it? I mean, if you want to be contrary, at least do your homework.


Did they just vote for statehood, in fact? They did indeed.


The 2020 vote had 55% turnout, and was in favor of statehood, and a small margin on a non-binding vote after years of turning it down. Certainly not overwhelming. If that is enough for them, its enough for me. Something tells me it won’t be so simple.

Come on! Votes generally in favor of statehood in 1998, 2012, 2017, and 2020, with no rejections since the late ‘60s! While there were flaws with all of those votes, the 2020 was by far the simplest and most straightforward. It kinda sounds like you want to keep voting until you get the results that back up your point rather than listen to the people of PR.


No - I want it to happen. I just don’t believe its going to be as easy as we may hope. Biden isn’t even talking about it.


That’s fair. I also don’t think it will be a slam dunk. But I think the lowest hurdle will be PR support for it. I think most Puerto Ricans understand (especially the way they were treated by the 45 admin) that it’s shitty to be stuck between independence and full statehood, and they also see how the USA treats their southern neighbors. Statehood is the best bet. Heck, they would enter the union in the middle of the pack for representation! They would get 2 senators and 4 representatives.


Isn’t one of the issues with Puerto Rico statehood the fact that they have three constitutional options- Current status / Statehood / Independence, and none of these options have had a historical majority behind them, so it’s taken until now to get a vote in favour of any one outcome.

And regardless of the proposed opposition, isn’t it possible to play hardball against a filibuster as well? Make them get on their feet and talk it out rather than just giving up ans soon as someone announces that they want to block something. In the face of obstructionism and utter intransigence that is the modern republican party I’d be all for keeping all 100 senators there 24 hours a day, and making them hold the floor until they collapse from exhaustion, then winning the vote anyway.


Maybe, but that doesn’t solve the problem of Manchin being allowed a modicum of power.

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As others already pointed out, they did vote for it and that should be enough. Democracy and all that. We may have our own opinions but to the Puerto Ricans they are just that: opinions of some other folks.

But there is also a reason. First of all it is not that rare, there are several former colonies where the population voted against independence. The Dutch Caribbean islands or French Guiana for example.

Why? Have a look at the history of liberations and independence movements, they often end up messy. Very violent civil wars, coups, failed economies… It can be a dangerous thing to want.

When you suddenly yank the whole structure of a government out replacing it is not that easy. And you often only get one go.

From the position of a relatively small nation there is also a huge benefit of belonging to a larger: Safety. Both economically and militarily there are things outside forces might do to a small isolated nation they would not dare do to a US state.

And don’t forget the benefits of access to a stable and reliable currency, that is what often really tripped up recently independent nations.


My point is, aside from PR’s votes and whether or not recent referendums were faulty or not, the recent interest in PR’s statehood from Dem leaning Americans comes not from a concern about what people in PR think, or what is best for PR, but is coming from a political interest in the US, and generally as such is bad faith.

The current and past referendums from PR fell on deaf ears, and now maybe Dems will pay attention because it’s useful to some of us, is not much different than the GOP ignoring and trump slighting PR because keeping them out was useful to the GOP. Where were the Dems for the past 40yrs and several adminstrations.

Thats all I have to say about it - never intended to start a topic on this.

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Debates about the accuracy of this sentiment notwithstanding, are you saying that because the Democrats want the right thing for the wrong reason that it means the right thing shouldn’t be pursued?


:man_shrugging: That’s quite a leap. Many Dems have been advocating for PR for decades, whether the people chose independence or statehood. They have raised money for hurricane relief or even travelled there to physically lend a hand in rebuilding. Just painting every Dem with such a broad brush is not cool.

Are some being cynical? Yes. I dare say we’ve been begging them to be that way, rather than doormats for the GOP, for a long time.


Doing the right thing should always be a selfless, self destructive act. /s

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I definitly think PR should go State or go Independant, because they constntly get the shit end of the stick with their territory status. And statehood has a lot of advantages compared to what independance would bring.

But dems should keep in mind there are a lot of very conservative people living there. They would become a battleground state at best. Currently, the existing political parties there are all about whether to become a state or not, but once that question was out of the way…


I am not saying it should not be pursued. I am pointing out how it comes across badly to a wide swath of Americans, for the sake of Dems being slightly more self-aware.