The Time Has Arrived for Blue Metro Statehood?

Kevin Hernandez, Unsplash

Since Joe Biden’s inauguration, the white conservative apparatus has waged culture war through first the media, then the 2021 election in Virginia, and now through legislative attacks on abortion rights, public education, corporate diversity training, trans folks, and other LGBT groups. Texas and Florida have been particularly egregious with Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law and Texas defining supportive trans parenthood as child abuse. However, the attack on minority rights, election fairness, urban self-government, and corporate self-governance is broad- based and likely to continue if not accelerate as long as the Trumpist GOP uses culture war to promote itself among rural white conservatives.

Lawsuits are underway, the Biden administration has condemned the new laws, there are school protests in Florida, and Democrats are mobilizing for the 2022 mid-terms. And these initiatives need to be continued and expanded. But for a more lasting solution to conservatives translating their culture wars into law, I believe it necessary to address the ability of rural white voters to exercise authority over racial minorities, sexual minorities, urban government, and the company culture of diverse corporations. That’s why I think the time is right for granting statehood to major blue cities located in red states. The metro areas I currently have in mind are Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville in Florida and Houston, Dallas/Ft Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso in Texas. If Blue Metro Statehood is approved, the U.S. would have 9 more states making 59 states with 59 governors, and 59 state governments. If Blue Metro Statehood came to pass, white conservative proposals to ban abortion,

Let me ask myself with some questions on the topic.

Is Blue Metro Statehood even possible? Ironically enough, creating states is not such a difficult task within the U.S. federalist system. Creating new states out of blue metros would only require majority in the current House and Senate as well as a presidential signature. That would still be tough, would require partisan Democratic majorities in Congress and also eliminating the Senate filibuster. But creating blue metro states might still be easier than pursuing years (decades?) of court appeals and overcoming vote suppression and gerrymandering.

Are Blue Metros big enough to be states? Indeed. In fact, almost all of the blue metros proposed for statehood have larger populations than any of the states with only 3 electoral votes. The only exception is is that South Dakota is a little larger than El Paso. The larger of these Blue Metros–Miami, Dallas/Ft Worth, and Houston–all have larger populations than Louisiana (4.6 mill) and Kentucky (4.5 mill) both of which will have 8 electoral votes in 2024.

Florida: Miami-6.1 mill; Tampa-3.1 mill; Orlando-2.6 mill; Jacksonville-1.6

Texas: Dallas/Ft Worth-7.5 mill; Houston-7 mill; San Antonio-2.5 mill; Austin-2.2 mill; El Paso-844,000

Small States: Wyoming-578,803; Vermont-645,570; North Dakota774,948; South Dakota-895,376;

The examples of Wyoming, Vermont, and the Dakotas are encouraging. Each is big enough to be a self-governing entities which supports state police forces, National Guards, public education, highway administrations, and environmental policies. The same is true of blue metros.

What would Blue Metro Statehood Accomplish?

Ending Red State Government Harassment. The populations, city governments and school systems of Blue State Metros hold mainstream American values on diversity, civil rights, the environment, and public health. Conservative governors in Florida and Texas are harassing city government and the diverse populations of blue metros precisely because the blue metros act consistently with national values but at odds with reactionary rural white populations. The core problem is that red state politicians and white conservative rural voters are egging each other on to become more extreme. Blue Metro Statehood which would allow cities to govern themselves without any reference to the increasingly extreme and anti-American politics of rural whites and the politicians who represent them. Blue Metro Statehood would make it possible for cities to address environmental issues, gentrification, police reform, and gun violence. It would also make it possible for urban areas to serve as civil rights refuges for women, gay people, the parents of trans kids, and immigrants being pursued by state law in what are now Florida and Texas.

Balancing the Electoral College. As rural whites become more extreme, the weighing of the U.S. Senate and the Electoral College toward rural interests becomes more of a problem for social stability and functioning government. Blue Metro Statehood in what are now Florida and Texas would create at least 10 safe Senate seats for Democrats with another 5 seats or so being more competitive. There would be a 118 seat Senate with Democrats being elected closer in proportion to their actual votes. The Electoral College also would expand from 538 to 556 with 279 electoral votes needed to win. Such an arrangement would mean that more Democrats would be elected but does not guarantee Democratic majorities in either the Senate or the Electoral College. The Democrats would still need to win vote majorities but the GOP would also be required to win majorities if they want to win elections. Thus, Blue Metro Statehood would serve to balance representation in the Senate and voting in the Electoral College.

Stronger Federal Government. With the Democrats having a better chance of winning the Presidency and control of the Senate, there is also an opportunity to strengthen the federal government in a manner that is needed to meet the demands of the next fifty years. These include the extreme weather events and natural disasters associated with climate change, the likelihood of continued global pandemics, the still increasing wealth gap, the civil strife caused by white conservative backlash, and protecting the civil rights of women, racial minorities, sexual minorities, the disabled, and immigrants. One of the goals of the Republican Party has been to prevent the federal government from addressing national issues because they view effective federal government as a partisan advantage to Democrats (as the party of effective government). Although far from a panacea, Blue Metro statehood would help create a basis for a more effective federal government in the future.

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