Birthday Post: Hawaii

HawaiiFifty-six years ago, President Eisenhower signed into law Hawaii becoming a state. Now I haven’t giving a lot of thought to that usurper in the White House and the fact that he is not qualified to be president. But now I see just how deep this conspiracy goes. So apparently, Obama’s mother (while still in high school) got together with his father — a full year before they officially met. And somehow, they got to Congress and eventually even the president himself to make Hawaii a state because they knew that they were going to have a child that would go on to become President of the United States. This conspiracy is so deep that I’m almost inclined to think that I made the whole thing up. But this a fact: I’ve never actually seen Obama’s birth certificate. (Not that it matters, because clearly the lobbying done by Obama’s parents was illegal and we shouldn’t even consider Hawaii a state.)

But in all honesty, why was Hawaii the last state? I remember getting into a twitter argument with a guy. He finally decided to ask me a question that would settle the issue of whether I was a decent human being, “What’s your position on Puerto Rican statehood?” I responded, “Honestly, I don’t know enough to have a public opinion. But personally, it seems an outrage that it isn’t already a state.” That satisfied him. But what is that all about, anyway? Why do we leave all of our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and Guam and many other places in a kind of limbo?

I know the reason. I often find that Americans have a certain kind of privilege and feel that others shouldn’t be included. And it is sad. To me, what’s great about the America of my aspirations is that it says, “Come join us!” But especially (but in no way, exclusively) among conservatives, the more exclusive America is, the better. So it has been 56 years since we last expanded the franchise. It doesn’t speak well of us.

Happy “birthday” Hawaii!

2 thoughts on “Birthday Post: Hawaii

  1. I’d guess it’s money. Hawaii’s the main shipping port for the entire Pacific. Our other colonies have tourism and cultural value, but Hawaii’s the economic prize. I suppose we had to lock it down before Hawaiians demanded independence; if things had gotten ugly enough, there could have been acts of resistance including sabotage, strikes, etc. None of the residents of other colonies have that kind of leverage, so into limbo they go!

    Here’s a laugher from Wiki’s page on US territories; some smaller ones have a limited independence agreement that allows them “access to US health care, US government services such as the FCC and United States Postal Service.” Boy, health care AND the FCC, what a deal! At least the Post Office is a good deal. You can send a first-class letter from any US territory in the world to any other US land and it costs the same single stamp I use to pay my electric bill.

    • I’m sure that’s part of it. But also American thinking has ossified. And now, with the Republican Party being so racist, the idea of making Puerto Rico a state just sounds outrageous. We might as well annex Mexico!

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