In June 2017, the government of American territory Puerto Rico held a referendum, the purpose of which was for the people to vote decisively for statehood or independence. Like the last three referendums over the past ten years, the results were anything but decisive. Still, one must look at the facts – the idea of Puerto Rican statehood is patently ridiculous, because it’s not touching any of the other states.
Look at any map of North America and the Caribbean. All of the Mexican states border at least one other Mexican state. All of the Canadian provinces border at least one other Canadian province. And all of the United States’ states border at least one other United States state! The idea of having a state that’s a good thousand miles from the next state is unfathomable. Imagine having to cross an ocean or, god forbid, another sovereign country’s borders, to get to another state.
Since 1776, the United States has had a simple standard for its states: they gotta touch. It’s that simple. The thirteen colonies formed a powerful, connected chain down the east coast, from New Hampshire to Georgia. These colonies are represented today by the thirteen red and white stripes of our American flag, each of which touches the next one in beautiful physically-bound harmony. It would be outright disrespectful to the Founding Fathers to have a state that shares none of its borders–not a one!–with the others.
As America grew, so did the unbroken bond between its states. We grew West, affixing more and more territories to our wondrous contiguous nation. Even during the Civil War, when the Union was at its weakest, all of our states kept touching. Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure that’s how ol’ Lincoln knew it would all be alright in the end.
Alas Puerto Rico just can’t be a state, cause it’s not touching any of the others, and that simply won’t do. Says it right there in the Pledge – indivisible. It’s totally cool that it stays a habitually neglected territory without a voice in Congress or federal elections as it has for over a century, though. That’s the American way – just like having all our states touch each other.