Yesterday, as I was working on one of my daily blogs I started to look for a photograph of the Governor of Puerto Rico, former Resident Commissioner in Washington, DC, the Honorable Luis Fortuño. I was truly surprised when I found the following caption accompanying the photo, “Luis Fortuño. is a Republican Governor of Puerto Rico. Make changes to this page . Summary · Issues · Affiliations · Comparisons · Videos · Photos · Money …” (Author’s Note: This is a direct cut and paste so the grammatical errors are not my responsibility.)
At this point, all the formalities that are usually bestowed to a Head of State, or Head of a Nation, will end. First because the party that the governor represents, the New Progressive Party, does not recognize Puerto Rico as nation in their daily political discourse. The other, because the Governor of Puerto Rico calls himself “the Republican Governor, Luis Fortuño”, a designation that is not forthcoming out of his election by the Puerto Rican voters, or the position that he has occupied, quite dishonorably, I might add, since November of 2008.
In less than a year, the Governor has managed to fire thousands of public employees, something that has never been seen in the country’s history, and a move that obviously will not help to improve the quality of services for the people of Puerto Rico.
However, why does Mr. Fortuño calls himself a Republican Governor?
Let’s begin by asserting that by cultural preferences and tradition, people of Puerto Rican extraction, and to the larger extent, most Latinos, have been traditionally categorized as Democrats. In the case of our current lackey of political opportunity, the governor couldn’t find a forum receptive to his ideas within the Democratic Party, and the only choice left for him was the Republican Party.
I understand that, but, what I don’t understand is why all the people that voted for him, that surely don’t care a bit about the connotation of being Republican, or even Democrat, for that matter, within the political structure of the United States of North America, have to abide by his self designation as Republican Governor.
The governor of the Island is elected by the people of Puerto Rico, not by his affiliation to a major party in the United States of North America. His responsibility is to understand and satisfy the needs of the people of Puerto Rico.
I don’t see how that is accomplished by his recognizing his position by any other connotation than that of Governor of Puerto Rico.
The politics of “petty-yankism”
The term “petty-Yankee” has been used within the elements of Puerto Rican politics as far back as 1898, to describe those native-born that wanted to be Americans to such an extent, that they would act like Americans and therefore would be looked upon as little Americans, that is spite of being Puerto Rican nationals.
In time, as the struggle between pro Independent, Statehooders, and those backing the current status-quo began in earnest, the “petty-Yankee” became a daily part of the political discourse and the term entered in disuse, although its meaning was not lost, as now it refers to the exaggerated but innocuous, “Statehood over reason” arguments, that pervade in the political process on the Island.
It eventually finds forms in situations as the one we expose in here, where a governor identifies himself as a Republican, a term of no value in the Puerto Rican politician reality. This is an effort that can only be legitimized by those who, erroneously, I might add, think that such a connotation will keep the governor current, within the norms of the political discourse in the United States of America, where the identification of a politician by party affiliation, is part of the daily bread and butter of politics.
Moreso, his Republicanism further proves that the governor missed the boat when he jumped in the McCain boat, hook, line and sinker, and, finally, sank with it into the depths of oblivion, as now he is identified as a Republican in the spectrum of a Democratic lead Congress. Talk about the epitome of foolishness, talk about his lack of vision, talk about not being surfing the wave of change that swept trough America. How do people in Puerto Rico pay the consequences for the foolishness and lack of vision of this poor excuse for a governor?
The governor’s posture as simplistic as it might seem, is another slap to the sovereignty of Puerto Rican people, as it adds a connotation to the prime office in the nation, that is not given by the voters, nor by the Constitution of the country,
For all of time, the Governor of Puerto Rico has been known as that, meaning the Governor of all in Puerto Rico, elected in a democratic process we recognize as the electoral process. The post has never, nor should ever be recognized as the Republican, or Democrat, for that matter, of Puerto Rico. That designation, in fact, takes away from the general connotation of governor of all, and semantically places it as governor of the few, as the politics in the Island do not generally recognize the affiliation of a major party in the United States of North America as a precondition of the elected posts on the Island.
This posture is a total return to the days of the “petty-Yankee”, and it proves shameful when the terminology is applied, no less, to the top elected position in the country. When a “petty Yankee” wants to be bigger than either George Washington or George Jefferson, there is something definitely wrong with his perspective.
If the proponents of statehood think that Puerto Rico will become the 51st state in the American nation by presenting a petty version of America on the Island to Congress, they are only fooling themselves.
The petty-bickering that politicians on the Island are known for, the disrespect that they show on the floor of the Senate and the Assembly in Puerto Rico are enough to turn off their staunchest supporter on the mainland.
When you add the behavior of traditional politics on the Island to the fact that Puerto Ricans will have more representation than 13 states in the Nation, Congress will have to be in ecstasy to welcome the very native style of Puerto Rican politics, moreso, and the Machiavellian style that has characterized the pro Statehood practitioners.
Food for the future
It is time for the people of Puerto Rico to truly revise their alternatives, and to be able to do that outside of the arena of traditional politics, if that is possible at all.
It is time for the people to recognize that the current alternatives present themselves in a manner before election, that never materializes after.
It is time to recognize when one is being lied to.
Recently residents of Puerto Rico have been stating a sad but funny statement that basically summarizes Fortuño stint as governor. They say, “…the governor is like a condom it stands for inflation, and stops production while it fucks you.” This, an obvious statement by the people, sadly defines the current affairs in Puerto Rico. What do you think?
Story by Juan A. Moreno-Velázquez