Did you or anyone in your family ever collect those little state-shaped magnets?
My parent’s refrigerator is covered in them. Not for every state, though. Just the ones that someone in the family has visited.
These magnets are pretty self explanatory. There is one magnet for each state, and the magnets are shaped like the states they represent. You can kinda fit them together to form a big colorful map of the U.S.
OK, so Delaware and Rhode Island are disproportionately larger than they should be when compared to their neighboring states. Delaware is huge! It could easily swallow Connecticut and half of New York.
There are even magnets shaped like the Canadian provinces, if you’ve been to any of them.
Again, they are not proportionate to each other. I mean, look at Quebec. It’s so tiny. Delaware could engulf it.
Well, there may soon be another state magnet that people will have to run out and get because voters in Puerto Rico have voted to go all the way in their marriage with the U.S., and finally become the 51st state. It happened while the rest of us were waiting with baited breaths to see who would win the presidential election Nov. 6.
Let’s be honest here, Puerto Rico and the U.S. have been like Prince William and Kate Middleton. They’ve been courting for what seems like an eternity and everyone has just been waiting for the ring to finally go on the finger. It really started when the U.S. took the island from Spain at the end of the Spanish-America War in 1898. Puerto Rico eventually became a U.S. commonwealth and it has been that way for nearly 100 years.
Technically, it’s been part of the U.S. for a long time. The little island’s residents just haven’t had those pesky rights afforded to the rest of us. You know the ones that include having congressmen who can actually vote in congressional affairs, the ability to participate in presidential elections and having representation in the Senate.
But, like Prince William, Puerto Rican voters have finally offered up a marriage proposal. It’s up to the U.S. to decide whether to say “yes.”
For those of you who are like me and were born after The Beatles broke up, it’s been a really long time since a new state was admitted to the U.S. It’s been 53 years since Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to be exact. This isn’t exactly an every day occurrence.
So, to play catch up for all of you youngsters. Here are the rules. Now that Puerto Rican voters have voted in favor of statehood, they have to make a formal pitch and Congress has to vote to accept them as a state.
Think that sounds easy?
Not so fast my friends. Alaskan voters voted for statehood more than a decade before Congress finally said “yes.” The U.S. is a fickle girl and these things take time.
There are a lot of issues that have to be worked out. For starters, Puerto Rico’s admission would increase the size of the Senate to 52 senators. They’d get their own representatives which would mean reapportionment and taking a representative or two from some other U.S. state.
Puerto Rico has its own established political parties — that don’t exist elsewhere in this country — so it wouldn’t be as simple as saying “Would the Republicans get the new state, or would it go to the Democrats?”
And, on top of all of that, some congressional leaders — and at least one failed Republican presidential candidate — have said they think Puerto Rico should have to formally adopt English as its official language.
So, the language we speak includes French words. Menage-a-toi anyone?
Who cares if our legal system relies heavily on Latin terms. I refuse to plead nolo contendere to your accusations!
What do you mean several towns in the southwest have Spanish names? Who is this Marty Robbins and what did he mean when he sang about that “west Texas town of El Paso?”
Ignore all of that because we all know a country can’t survive with two common languages. Isn’t that right Canada?
Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at 770-478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.