The First Democratic Debates

20 of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates took the stage in two debates this week.

Puerto Rico was mentioned just once in the first Democratic Debate. Julian Castro reminded people that his first campaign stop was San Juan.

He got whoops and hollers from the audience.

Beto O’Rourke had answered a question on climate change, mentioning Iowa, Florida, and Texas. A follow up question was put to Castro: should the federal government be responsible for people who built their homes in unsafe places?

Castro, the former Housing and Urban Development Secretary, said, “I don’t think that that represents the vast majority of the issue. In fact, you know, my first visit after I announced my candidacy wasn’t to Iowa or New Hampshire. It was to San Juan, Puerto Rico–” and here he was interrupted by applause and cheering “–Because people should know that if I’m elected president, everybody will count.”

Puerto Rico was not mentioned in the second debate, and no candidates were asked their positions on Puerto Rico statehood. However, the territory was never mentioned in any of the debates in 2016. We hope that the fact that Puerto Rico came up in the first debate for the 2020 election is an indicator that the subject will be on the minds of the candidates this time around.

The subjects they discussed included subjects that are very important to Puerto Rico: climate change, health care, and the needs of working people.

Vox noticed that Mitch McConnell got a lot of attention in the first debate and objected to the fact. “In a more sensible system,” they wrote, “the presidential candidates would be quizzed on how they would lead their party to down-ballot victory if nominated… They’d be discussing statehood for Puerto Rico and DC — which is both the right thing to do on the merits and would strengthen Democrats’ Senate competitiveness in the future. It’d be all hands on deck to take back the Senate.”

Vox is making the common error of assuming that Puerto Rico would be a blue state. But they are right that statehood for Puerto Rico is the right thing to do.

Whoever your favorite candidates are, Democratic or Republican, ask them their positions on Puerto Rico’s status. It’s time for statehood.

One Comment

Dennis Freytes

Fairness-Equality for ALL, not just some!
The US Federal Government should be the Servant of all the People; not their Master! Candidates-Elected Officials must be FAIR to US Puerto Ricans-US Veterans who are part of “WE THE PEOPLE”; should provide full Individual Civil Rights; Federal “consent of the governed”…as we guard against a “tyranny of a majority”! THUS, the MEDIA and Others should–
*ASK CANDIDATES-ELECTED OFFICIALS–
Will you stand-up for RIGHT (Fair Treatment-Equal Rights-Parity) for ALL US Citizens, BY– ending Federal undemocratic control (since 1898-for over 120 years) of fellow US Citizens-American Veterans (part of “We The People”) in the US Territory of Puerto Rico; FIX by providing STATEHOOD or conduct a binding non-Territorial Referendum: STATEHOOD vs INDEPENDENCE (with or without PACT) that will end Federal suppression?
**You can’t have it both ways; you are either for Equality or support or excuse Federal discrimination!

The facts are–US Territory of Puerto Rico has more US Citizens-American Veterans than 22 States, yet incongruently can’t vote for their US President nor have just representation in Congress nor Parity in Federal funds nor a permanent statutory US Citizenship (even if residing in a State)… as the Federal Government undemocratically controls US Citizens-American Veterans in the US Territory of Puerto Rico, per the old Territorial Clause (1787) and the Insular Cases (1901-1925+–based on closet racism and discrimination), until Today!

THE TIME IS NOW in our US Republic (governed by the People) with a “We the People” US Constitution in a Representative Democracy, under our US Flag (that represents all States and the People)—for EQUALITY!

United with truth, reason, courage, and Civic ACTION for the good of ALL—Family, Community, State or Territory, USA and Humanity! CHARGE!
(Dennis O. Freytes -Florida Veterans Hall of Fame)

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