The Iowa State Fair approaches. Overzealous politicians relinquish party politics, unbutton collars, and devour fried carnival treats. Their grease-sprinkled mouths articulate visions for change to an overwhelmingly white constituency. This caucusing cohort grasps the keys to political viability.
A nebulous win catapulted Mayor of South Bend, Pete Butof political stardom—candidate Joe Biden nearly floundered following his lackluster Iowa showcase. A triumphant victory in South Carolina, underlined by Representative James Clyburn’s endorsement, secured Biden’s centrist appeal and unleashed his sweeping victory on Super Tuesday.
Thus, it was no surprise when the Democratic National Convention recently approved a framework placing South Carolina as the first primary in the electoral slate. A constituency defined by African American voices gave Joe Biden the presidency. He would leverage his power to ensure they were cemented as the soul of progressive principles.
Among the locales who applied for the first primary was Puerto Rico. An archipelago, neglected by the stench of partisanship appealed for political power. However, the Democratic party’s decision entailed a woefully missed opportunity. Politically voiceless citizens would not receive the limelight for which they yearn–a limelight destined to draw the journalistic, political, and social attention required for reform.
Dozens of progressive politicians claim to prioritize the Puerto Rican spirit, yet they actively deny the sole avenue toward an authentic investment in statehood. Politicians would stamp a Boricua-first agenda as their calling card if the archipelago were to be placed first in the primary slate. Millions of Boricua voices would mold the just fabric upholding the Democratic party.
As we embark upon a new era of Democratic leadership, Puerto Rico proves to be a hollow bastion for righteousness. Why must continental confines abridge decency? Progressives can decide to prioritize justice or allow the archipelago to perish under the indecency they wish to eradicate.