El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico
Radical Republicans and Statehood
By ÁNGEL COLLADO SCHWARZ
Translated By Nicole Irizarry
23 February 2012
Edited by Janie Boschma
Puerto Rico - El Nuevo Día - Original Article (Spanish)
The U.S. Republican Party primaries dramatize the radicalization of its candidates and their disconnection from the reality and tendencies of globalization and the Information Revolution of the 21st century.
The obsession for power and opportunism reaches its climax with Mitt Romney’s candidacy; his positions change right along with the political winds.
Romney has adopted at least three different positions regarding government help for the auto industry, one of which advocated that the government should have let the industry collapse.
He believes that the government should not be a job creator, but ignores the significant number of positions created by the Department of Defense.
Ironically, Romney now attacks the universal healthcare plan that Barack Obama modeled after the same plan that he implemented in Massachusetts as governor.
The radical Republicans are being held hostage by the oil and carbon interests and ignore that the next great global industry will be clean and efficient energy. These radicals forget that it was conservative, Republican presidents Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush who created the EPA and the first cap-and-trade deal in order to control acid rain.
Regarding Middle East politics, their desire for the Jewish-American vote leads them to the point where they start submitting new ideas such as Romney’s to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and which has Newt Gingrich suggesting that Palestinians are an invented people and as such, they have no right to a state.
Another candidate who has won several primaries is Rick Santorum. Recently, he highlighted that concern about global warming is a lie the American left used to increase government control over the lives of private citizens.
Ron Paul, who is accused of being racist, has described the Civil War and the Civil Rights Act as errors.
Following the pattern of improvisation and opportunism, during the Florida primaries the four finalists (Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul) promised they would support statehood for Puerto Rico, were that to be the winning result of the November plebiscite.
This creates a real opportunity against the blundering position of the pro-commonwealth party, the Partido Popular Democrático (PPD), of participating in the plebiscite by asking for votes to continue the colonial status.
The Republican candidates, just like the previous presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, use Puerto Rico’s political status as a pawn in the electoral strategies. However, they know that a statehood plan for Puerto Rico, before being approved by them, would have to be approved by the powerful U.S. Senate, which is one of the least democratic governmental bodies in existence (a senator from California, representing 37 million citizens has the same power as a senator from Wisconsin who represents half a million).
A senator has the power of stopping any legislation and their actions can be quite strange, like those of Sen. John McCain who, while representing Arizona, one of the 10 states where more than 90 percent of the Hispanic population reside, and despite governor Luis Fortuño’s petition, voted against the nomination of the first Latina to the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor.
The candidates know that statehood is not a right for an unincorporated territory, but an invitation. They know that statehood is available for all Puerto Ricans who are willing to relocate, but not for the unincorporated territory of Puerto Rico.
Only electoral opportunism keeps them from stating the truth they know.
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