Puerto Rico, New Columbia, and A Bit of Ignorance

Interesting read on WTOP’s website about the Puerto Rican Statehood referendum and the possibility of pairing it with Statehood for New Columbia. Puerto Rican Statehood has an uphill climb because in the past citizens there have been more reticent about it whereas here in DC we’ve overwhelmingly supported it but the article also points to many of the common ignorant claims against us, case in point Mr. James Joyner who hosts a blog and comes across as a bit hypocritical and ignorant of how the Constitution and the structure of government was created:

“Because of the strange constitutional structure we have, statehood means a representative, which probably wouldn’t be a problem, but it also means two senators,” said Joyner. “And it just doesn’t make sense to give a little rump of a city … equal representation to California.”

Doesn’t he read history books or take it in school? The Senate was created precisely to give equal representation to the states, large and small while the House is there for proportional representation based on population. Remember back in the late 1700s states like Virginia and Rhode Island argued about how to best create a representative government for the various states and the current make-up of a House of Representatives and Senate were created as a balancing act.

Under Mr. Joyner’s logic we should take away Rhode Island’s Statehood because it too is a “rump” of a state in geographical size and then we should go after Wyoming (DC has a larger population); and soon we can go after North Dakota and Vermont Statehood since we’ll probably pass their population numbers by the end of the next decade. The District had the fastest growing population in terms of percent growth of any state (or District) since the 2010 census.

What folks like Mr. Joyner and other DC Statehood haters don’t seem to grasp is an understanding of the Constitution and the context for which it was written coupled with the evolution our of our country since then. Statehood for New Columbia should stand on its own, we deserve it but if Puerto Rico wants Statehood too we stand solidly with them and would be happy to raise our Statehood flags on the same day as the 51st & 52nd states to the Union.

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