August 21, 2009

Happy Statehood Day

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On this date in 1959 President Eisenhower signed into law Proclamation 3309 declaring Hawai'i to be the 50th state of the Union.

But are we celebrating loudly with parades and flags? Not hardly.

In the June 27, 1959, statehood plebiscite, 94.3 percent of voters favored immediate statehood. However, Hawaiian activists and others opposed to continued statehood have argued that a silent majority of residents were either opposed to or ambivalent about joining the union.
Whether those activists are correct or not, they have cowed our politicians into believing that no overt celebrations should be held. Instead, we're getting a "Statehood Conference" with an admission fee.

It's like holding town hall meetings to discuss health care reform quietly, in hopes that the crazies won't show up to shout "Nazi death panels" and "socialized medicine."

There is a sovereignty movement out here which wants to secede from the US. It's fragmented, though. Some of the groups in the movement want to return to a monarchy; some want to have some kind of small "d" democratic nation; and some are so muddled they don't know what they want, except that they don't want to be part of the United States. None of them seem to want to address the logical conclusion of such a withdrawal: the loss of the billions of dollars of Federal spending on the military, Social Security, education, Medicare and Medicaid, and all the other programs the national government supports.

In a population of over one million, there are only a few thousand of these folks, but they're a loud crowd and they can terrify elected officials. It's a damned shame.

Posted by Linkmeister at August 21, 2009 08:43 AM | TrackBack

Interesting. For another point of view, from a state that's been a state a lot longer - I've lived in California my entire life and I can't ever remember celebrating statehood. I have to look up when we joined the union. Now, if I lived in Texas (another state that frequently regrets the decision to join), it might be different.

Posted by: hedera at August 21, 2009 01:23 PM

Well, it's the 50th anniversary and all that that implies. I should have made that clearer in the post.

Posted by: Linkmeister at August 21, 2009 01:30 PM

Happy Big Five-O!

Posted by: cookie jill at August 21, 2009 08:18 PM

I'd like to see a conference between soverignity movement types and the people who don't think Hawaii is a state.

When I was a kid in San Francisco we used to get California statehood day off from school.

Posted by: Nellcote at August 23, 2009 12:21 PM