Senator Schumer said, before the 2020 plebiscite, that he would “love to” make Puerto Rico a state, “especially if they vote for it.”
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) September 30, 2020
Puerto Rico voted for statehood.
Schumer has now backpedaled on taking action, it seems. He told El Nuevo Dia, a Puerto Rico news source, that he is “waiting for a consensus to develop”.
The Chairman of the Democratic Party of Puerto Rico, Charles Rodriguez, responded, “You can’t ask the people of Puerto Rico to vote and then ignore what they democratically decide with their ballots”.
That’s not how democracy works
In a hearing on Puerto Rico’s status, the U.S. Senate brought together the leaders of Puerto Rico’s political parties in an effort to create consensus on political status. The effort failed, and the exasperated senators asked the Puerto Rican leaders what they could do without full agreement on a status preference.
Now Governor, then Resident Commissioner, Pedro Pierluisi said, “That’s not how democracy works.” He spoke the truth. Democracy does not require consensus.
Schumer did not say that we should wait for the American people to develop consensus around a presidential candidate before inaugurating Joe Biden. He didn’t ask for consensus when he won his senate seat for the first time with 51% in the primary and 54% in the general election.
This is because Schumer understands that elections in the United States are based on the majority of votes, not on attempts to get everyone to agree.
A legitimate ballot is a legitimate act of self determination.
Will he keep his word?
“I trust that when Senator Schumer considers the issue further, he will keep his word to Puerto Ricans,” Charlie Rodriguez continued. “He should know that a poll in his own State – which has 1.1 million Puerto Ricans – found that up to 78% of Puerto Ricans in New York not only supported statehood but supported a ‘Statehood: Yes or No’ vote. That was the question Puerto Rico voted on November 3rd and on which an indisputable majority voted for statehood.”
One thing that is clear is that Puerto Rico does not benefit from being an unincorporated U.S. territory. Some individuals may benefit, but Puerto Rico would be better off as a state. Tell Senator Schumer so.@SenSchumer Puerto Rico voted for statehood and needs the equality statehood will bring. Please keep your promise to support equality for Puerto Rico. Consensus is not a requirement; respecting the vote is. Click To Tweet