The United States of America added her 49th and 50th states in 1959, it has since been almost 53 full years since a new state has been added – and it seems number 51’s time has almost come.  Much has changed in the world over the last hundred years, where once empire building was the expected course of a powerful nation – today it is seen as inhumane and culturally taboo.  This trend has made the addition of new states much more difficult and there are fewer and fewer possibilities when it comes to adding new states.  The two most popular possibilities are Puerto Rico and Washington, DC.  It seems that Puerto Rico may win the race to 51, and in doing so quickly become a very important part of our nations electoral math as it would immediately become the 29 largest state in the nation.

The addition of Puerto Rico creates some concern for the Republican Party, the most important of which is that it adds thousands of Latino voters to the presidential election rolls.  This influx may worry many Republican voters here on the mainland because only one minority group in the country votes predominantly Republican, Cuban-Americans.  This puts the party at a perceived disadvantage with the Latino population of Puerto Rico, but Republicans can overcome any deficit here as Puerto Rico has been trending more conservative over recent years.  The island-state has been made poor by high taxes and even higher prices and has woken up to the economic realities that conservative Republicans have been preaching for years.  Puerto Rico’s current Governor, Republican Luis Fortuno, should be on any Presidential contender’s short list for Vice President as he has been willing to make difficult political decisions to make life in Puerto Rico better.

This segues into another area for us, because many readers may now say but Governor Fortuno can’t be President – he wasn’t born here!  I have a personal soapbox I get on, whenever I see any Puerto Rican national team competing in a sport.  Puerto Rico became an American territory in 1898, and its people have been natural born American citizens since 1917!  Puerto Rico is the USA.

Now the question is how do we conservatives win the hearts, minds, and votes of the people of our (possibly) soon to be 51st state?  With ideas.  We must continue to differentiate ourselves from the Democrat Party; we cannot blur the lines between the two any longer because it is simply easier for minority voters to vote Democrat!  For years I have suffered withering attacks from fellow Latino’s who believe I don’t have enough concern for Latino issues – simply because I refuse to vote for the welfare society of the Democrat Party.  If the Party’s ideas seem to similar to the population they will vote Democrat, every time… so we must rally around our principles and articulate why conservative ideas are better responses to Latino issues.

Our candidates must be much more careful with their speech, Mr. Santorum’s recent statement that Puerto Rico must speak English before it can become  a state was far too simplistic an approach to the situation.  Why even broach the subject in such a manner?  We have no national language, yet Puerto Rico must make English their state language?  That makes no sense, especially since English has been the common language of Puerto Rico for almost 100 years.  The government already operates in English, and many of the population are bilingual in English and Spanish.  It is a small flub on the part of Senator Santorum, but to the Latino population it speaks a larger message – it says that Democrats are right, and Republicans are xenophobic.  We have to clean up the message, and focus on things that matter.  Lower taxes, more jobs, smaller government… that’s how we win.