Puerto Rico, Not DC, Deserves a Statehood Vote
Yep. You heard that right.
Puerto Rico, deserves a statehood vote, DC does not.
Puerto Rico is the largest US territory by land area and population, and has been for almost 125 years.
DC, is well special. It's not a territory, it's the Capital Territory. Our Constitution is a state to state compact, not a person to person compact. Our founders for good reason believed the capital should be outside of the states, not subject to the subordination of, or giving special status to, a state that had the Capital inside of it. Our founders believed Congress should be able to administer the territory in which it operated, to ensure no interference from a state government.
Every DC citizen has always known this, and should be both proud of their special status, and respectful of reasons it was created, not demanding extra rights. There are no past wrongs or fairness to right here, and making DC a state actually creates a wrong for the rest of us. There is a reason this little provision was enshrined in the Constitution as a protection for what is now over 300 mm Americans. It was not a small battle, and was carefully thought out.
DC is governed by Congress. My elected representatives, designed to be independent of any state government, and it's my tax dollars that support the economy almost in its entirety. I am not supportive of a new state government overseeing the district where my Federal elected representatives work independently of the state governments, particularly which is funded by my tax dollars.
Offering Puerto Rico Statehood, on the other hand, does right wrongs tinged in racial history.
The US has owned Puerto Rico for almost 125 years, multiple Presidents have supported statehood, numerous polls have supported statehood. When originally created, it was treated as a colony, not a typical territory, and never got its straight path to statehood like Hawai'i, Alaska and the rest of our states. Strong historical arguments exist this was done on racial grounds. Even the modern cultural history of Puerto Rico rivals anywhere else in the US, predating the founding of every American colony. 75% of all Americans in US territories live there, meaning its 3x the population of DC, Guam, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands, and the Marianas COMBINED.
It does not a have a special reason to remain independent of statehood like DC, and probably should have been put on a statehood path decades ago. It is 2 and 4x the population of the last two states to enter, Hawai'i and Alaska.
I've now read a number of articles about all the disenfranchised DCites. Here are the actual facts you should be aware before you jump to your conclusion, that CNN and others aren't bothering to report.
DC is the only territory that gets to vote for the President, a Constitutional amendment demonstrating its special status. 4x as many Puerto Ricans do not. DC has a little over 700,000 people, and ranks above exactly two states in population, Wyoming, and Vermont. That population exists not as a historically independent economic and social entity like neighboring Maryland and Baltimore, but as a specially created, by the other states, community serving, overseen by and funded by the growing apparatus of Federal government. Puerto Rico ranks above 20 states in population, including Iowa, Nevada, Hawai'i, Arkansas etc. Over 30 mm Americans live in smaller states by population. It's population is bigger than North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming combined.
DC is at best a special government created city, not a state. It is 68 square miles. Unlike any state: DC's economy is almost entirely funded by the rest of us through Federal tax dollars. The size comparison is stunning. Vermont is 141x larger by area. Wyoming is over 1,000x larger. Puerto Rico is 78x larger. In fact, the smallest state by size, Rhode Island, is 22x larger. Think about that, DC is <5% of the size of the smallest state with independent economy.
Yet you think it deserves statehood, and equal footing with Texas, and two Senators? If population alone is the criteria, should we eliminate Wyoming and Vermont? Should Texans and Californians demand, that number of Senators be changed to by population basis as well and erode the protection of small states? As a Texas and California citizen we have only 1/5oth the representation in the Senate as Vermont and Wyoming, or a proposed DC state. So yea, I think I get a voice here. You think it's fair to ask 330 mm of the rest of us to give up our Constitutional protection of having our capital outside of another state? At 50x the voting power I and 50 mm other Americans have?
If so, I suggest you suffer through the Hunger Games trilogy one more time and think about why our founders worked so hard to enshrine this constitutional protection for all of us, consider the rest of us, and start thinking and reading history before you make a knee jerk reaction.
We all have the right to an independent capital enshrined in the Constitution, so unless DC is planning on asking for statehood conditional on moving the capital, this vote should not pass.