The 51st State

by on November 7, 2012

In which Hank discusses the historical nature of yesterday's election, and how a bunch of Americans who don't live in America may end up having the most significant impact of all. But then again, maybe not.

Not only would Puerto Rico's statehood be a very uphill battle to a supermajority in Congress, it also remains an extremely divisive issue with the commonwealth. But it is fascinating that Puerto Rico remains, in effect, a colony of the United States and has been an autonomous country for all of four weeks (after the Spanish gave it up and before the US took possession) in it's 500 year history.

It's important to note that the question on the ballot was an odd one (I didn't have time to talk about this in the video). It was a two-part question, first asking if people wanted to see Puerto Rico's status change (a majority did) and then asking, if it did, how they would like it to change (even if they had just said that they /didn't/ want it to change.)

A large number of people did not answer the second question, indicating that the majority that favored statehood may have been overwhelmed by the people who didn't want any chance mixed with the people who wanted full independence or a different commonwealth status.

Nonetheless, the portion of Puerto Rico favoring statehood continues to increase, and this is an issue that we will have to face some day.


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