Guam – The below VIEWPOINT was submitted to PNC News and reflects the opinion of its author and not the Sorensen Media Group or its sponsors.
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POLITICAL STATUS REVISITED
The political status issue has been an open-ended political football here for decades – dormant for the most part, but always simmering just beneath a thin, racially-charged veil of ethnocentric xenophobia and Chamorro activism. It gets trotted out whenever some local politician thinks it advantageous to his or her election prospects or other personal agenda.
Governor Calvo recently ignited renewed interest in Guam’s quest for self-determination by citing in his State of the Island Address the need
to move ahead with a political status plebiscite, expressing his readiness to work with the Guam Legislature to identify funding for the vote.
The Congress approved, helped to organize and funded three such plebiscites in Puerto Rico in 1963, 1997 and 1998. Another is currently on the Congressional drawing board but the Congress, no doubt irritated and disillusioned by the Puerto Ricans’ inability to settle on a preferred political status, reportedly won’t be funding it.
It’s virtually certain that federal funding for a political status vote in Guam is available for the asking. Congresswoman Bordallo is working on a parallel track to authorize funding for a political status educational process. Why, then, does our Governor propose that we find the money in our cash-strapped government, which means that some other program must suffer?
Why not go directly to the Congress with the proposal? I believe the answer to that is obvious, but I’ll leave it to the Governor and the Legislature to provide their versions.
Political Science professor Dr. McNinch has opined that in view of the federal-territorial legal relationship the US Congress has constitutional authority to endorse, approve and fund Guam’s political status plebiscite. He’s absolutely correct, up to a point. It all hinges on constitutionality, for the Congress has no authority to abridge the constitutional rights of any citizen. Any legitimate political status plebiscite in Guam or elsewhere in the nation must pass Constitutional muster and comply with federal law; in this case the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Constitutional Amendments, the US Voting Rights Act and the Organic Act of Guam.
I’ve taken a lot of flack over three decades from Chamorro activists and others who like to characterize me as “anti-Chamorro”, apparently because I’m often critical of the predominantly Chamorro and spectacularly dysfunctional Government of Guam. That’s a convenient way to divert attention away from things they don’t want to hear and often fear to ask about.
At issue here is not what I am against, but what I am for. Winston Churchill once said “Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense”. I will support to my fullest ability any constitutionally valid political status vote or plebiscite and will resist with all means at my disposal one which is not. Any who profess to admire and support the United States Constitution should do likewise.
Those who seek to pick and choose which constitutional provisions and federal law they’ll observe have no legitimate voice in our society. That’s especially and more forcefully true for our elected official because they hold positions of public trust.
Someone once wrote “Bad deeds carried out by good men are all the more evil, because they know better and do it anyway”. I therefore solicit
attention to the racially discriminatory plebiscite issue from the Governor of Guam, the Attorney General of Guam, Congresswoman Bordallo
and all members of the Guam Legislature. You’re either in support of our Constitution, the rule of law and our democratic system of government or
Tell us where you stand.
Dave Davis, Yigo.