On January 24th, 2017, the Houston Young Republicans voted with no objections for the following resolution to be submitted to the Texas Young Republican Federation’s quarterly board meeting:
Whereas the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico has introduced a bill to the House of Representatives seeking to have Puerto Rico admitted as a state to our federal union.
Whereas a resolution has been submitted for the consideration of the Young Republican National Federation’s quarterly meeting that supports the prospect of statehood for Puerto Rico.
Whereas it is the founding principle of this nation that the interests of a distant island polity and those of a vast continental nation can never be so reconciled as to make just or practicable a union of government.
Whereas it is in the best interests of justice, efficiency of administration, and the preservation of popular sovereignty, that separate and distinct political cultures operate according to their own custom and under their own sovereignties.
Whereas that the founding assumption of our constitution is that the union is a federation of similar sovereignties, different enough in their local interest to necessitate separate state government but so similar in common culture, language, and law as to make practical their binding as coequal participants under a federal government.
Whereas that being so separated by geography, language, law, culture, and governing custom, the people of Puerto Rico constitute a body politic unto themselves; that theirs is a political culture separate and distinct from that of the states of our federal union.
Whereas our founding beliefs hold that injustice would result in allowing what is in fact a foreign political culture to potentially bind those in a system that does not share its particular assumptions and worldviews, and simultaneously an injustice would result in allowing our own culture to come to dominate and replace the traditions of another.
Whereas making Puerto Rico a state – the full annexation and integration of a colonial possession with a separate political identity- would render us an empire in the political science sense of the word.
Whereas as Republicans we are also republicans: we wish to maintain the good sense republican position against overseas imperial pretense.
Whereas potential admission of a territory as a state must be viewed upon its own merits – no territory deserves statehood by merit of anything other than the national interest of the United States. It is for this reason that the push to make the territorial Philippines a state failed, as did Mormon superstate Deseret and explicitly Native American Sequoyah.
Whereas Puerto Rico has limited natural resources, little modern strategic significance, less average education, and very high rates of poverty, unemployment, crime, and corruption. If admitted, Puerto Rico would be our most impoverished, least educated, and most violent state.
Whereas the political corruption in Puerto Rico is endemic and structural, embedded in its political economy and unlikely to be corrected simply by arresting notable participants.
Whereas allowing such corruption to exist in a coequal state in our federal system would be a national embarrassment. Any meaningful attempt to fix this, however, would be perceived by those on the island as an imposition. If the history of big city corruption prosecutions is any guide, attempts to clean the government of the island would be painted by Democrats as a racist attempt to lock up the genuine voices of underprivileged and underserved communities.
Whereas the government of the island reflects the traditional Latin American political reality of a wealthy Castellano elite ruling over a mixed race population, with status in the civil service correlating to placement along the pardo/white axis. The admission of a state based upon these lines cannot improve race relations.
Whereas traditionally conservative and Republican political positions remain unpopular on the island, while support for far reaching government regulation, gun control, an expansive civil service, and an extensive welfare system are very popular.
Whereas the political history of the island makes it clear that their admission as a state would provide two new reliably Democratic Senate seats, reliable Democratic votes in the Electoral College, and a majority-Democratic House delegation.
Whereas making Puerto Rico a state would provide ammunition for the push to make the District of Columbia a state, as the Left uses any victory as a pretext for their next similar leap.
Whereas admission of Puerto Rico as a state would necessitate that America become officially bilingual and that this would increase the normalization of non-use of English with an inevitable decline in our cultural desire and ability to assimilate immigrants, especially Spanish speaking ones.
Whereas making Puerto Rico a state would subject it to the full brunt of federal regulation and unfunded mandates, further bogging down its long term economic prospects.
Whereas the ruction and intraparty strife from this past electoral cycle has shown us the dangers of a party hierarchy seen to align with the left on important national identity issues.
Whereas we believe the economic and political issues that face Puerto Rico can be addressed fairly and adequately without the radical solution of granting them statehood.
Whereas Puerto Rico’s Spanish language civil law legal system already presents hurdles when enforcing full faith and credit and for mainland courts sitting in diversity jurisdiction. Should statehood increase the problems these issues present to judicial economy, the administration of justice would suffer as a result.
Therefore be it resolved that the Texas Young Republican Federation opposes the admission of Puerto Rico as a state, encourages the elected representatives of the people of Texas to oppose the same, and encourages the Young Republican National Federation to reject any resolution in its favor.