Thursday, November 15

Florida Should Not Be The Laughing Stock Because of Election

florida parking lot
I've seen it on local and national news. People are trying to cast Florida as a laughing stock because we had insanely close elections. But if you really think about it, we should not be ridiculed in Florida for close elections or recounts. Not even for all the posturing and lawsuits. Sure, you could argue that the actual candidates for whom we voted might open us up to mockery, but the fact that we had a close election should really be celebrated.

Florida is an important swing state, and that means there's a lot of national attention here. We have a large House representation (27) and two senators. Wyoming also has two senators.  We have 29 Electoral College votes, only behind California and Texas, and tied with New York. Politicians don't even bother with those other states because we all know they aren't really swing states. Keeping the voting close in Florida means we get a lot of attention from presidential candidates. Promises and pork for our state. Nothing wrong with that.

No matter how much you detest the other side, you have to admit that it's good to have some kind of balance. When I was in Kansas, everything was dark red. The only races that mattered were for the Republican primaries, and "Centrist" was a bad word the candidates would toss at each other. I lived down the road from a vet who told me that all the cutting of costs had finally gone too far, even for him, so he was going to vote for the centrist Republican.

When I lived in Milwaukee, the opposite was true. Only Democrats stood a chance, which meant everyone wanted to spend more on everything. I still own a home there, and I pay about twice as much in property taxes (and there's an income tax). The schools and crime are just as bad as Jacksonville's, so I guess I've accepted the fact that I just pay more for more government.

The point is that we should be happy we don't agree on the right way to "get to work" or "bring it home" here in Florida. If we decide someone went to work for his own benefit or brought too many freebies home, we might decide against those candidates. Or we might just vote with our allegiance to or anger against the president.

People from other states might want to refer to Florida as a laughing stock because they are envious of our diversity. They see stories about all the crazy shirtless guys who get arrested here and assume there's something wrong with all of us. But our crazy guys, our Republicans, our Democrats, and our voters are a microcosm of the entire country, all in one state. There's a little bit of everything in Florida, except snow.

We're going to get through the recounts, hopefully without violence--the only way we would make ourselves into a laughing stock. If you don't like the results, vote next time. Or get out there and talk to people about what you believe. Or run for office (if you're a millionaire/have a millionaire benefactor). Wisconsin, my home state, is a lot like Florida. Scott Walker just lost there, mainly because of a too-sweet corporate welfare deal. The pendulum swung back, like it can do in a state like Florida. Politicians need to be reminded of this fact. The best color when it comes to politics, in a country with only two parties, is purple. Dark red and dark blue states are really the laughing stocks. Be proud of your mismanaged, circus-like recount, Florida.
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