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This Midterm Matters PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jack King, BT Contributor   
October 2018

After 20 years, it’s time to undo Republican damage

HPix_JackKing_10-18ere we go again with another election cycle. The midterms used to be thought of as mere “interim” elections and of no great importance. After all, we thought, if the ballot didn’t feature a roster of candidates for president, it didn’t matter too much.

Oh, how times have changed!

This year in Florida we’ll be voting on a U.S. Senator and a governor, not to mention a number of important statewide races and constitutional amendments. The November 6 election has major importance for all of us.

For many years in this state we had only one party -- the Democrats. And the only elections that mattered were the primaries. Every now and then there’d be a breakthrough Republican, like Bob Martinez, who won the governorship in 1987. He lasted one term, losing re-election by a landslide.

The Republicans finally came into their own in 1999, with the election of Jeb Bush as governor, thanks in no small part to the arrival of even more carpetbaggers who, as it turned out, were nearly all Republicans. And for the past 20 years they’ve ruled to state.

They did a credible job under Bush, but things started going downhill with Charlie Crist, and they finally crashed and burned under Rick Scott, who might well go down as the worst governor in the history of the state. More about that later.

Scott, of course, has been term-limited and can’t run again for governor. So what does a guy do who’s spent the past eight years doing nothing as governor but push his personal fortune to over $500 million? Why not decide he’d like to be a U.S. Senator and show Floridians that he’s really a pro when it comes to not doing anything.

Can you name anything Scott actually did as governor? I mean, besides that witty campaign slogan “Let’s get to work!” It turns out, he wasn’t talking about himself. He was talking you.

No doubt, Scott is a formidable candidate -- remember, he spent some $65 million on his second run. Will he now cross the $100 million mark? There’s a pretty good chance of it. The question is whether there’s enough television air time left to buy with all his money.

His opponent is our current senator, Bill Nelson, who is up for re-election. A quiet man who works behind the scenes, Nelson seldom toots his own horn. On the other hand, he gets quite a lot accomplished.

In the governor’s race, we have two new people, thank goodness: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is now being called a socialist, and former U.S. Congressman Ron DeSantis from Flagler County, who’s being called a racist. Oh, it’s really nice when we have two gubernatorial candidates who don’t know where Miami is. Wouldn’t it be nicer to have a Florida governor who’s from South Florida? After all, most Floridians do live south of Disney World.

And just so you remember, we did have a governor who was from South Florida, and he did work out quite well. That was Bob Graham, who served for two terms.

Born in Coral Gables, Graham won election to the Florida Legislature after graduating from Harvard Law School. He proceeded to serve in both houses of the legislature, then won the 1978 gubernatorial election and was re-elected to the job in 1982. In the 1986 U.S. Senate race, he defeated incumbent Republican Senator Paula Hawkins, arguably the worst senator in Florida’s history.

I’ve made this halfhearted half-funny comment before: To fix Florida, we should draw a line from Tampa to Daytona, and from Orlando to Tallahassee. Then we give the east part to Georgia, the west part to Alabama, and keep the south part for ourselves. We’d be a better state.

It’s really too bad we don’t have Don “the Con” Dumpster, our illustrious president, on the ballot this election cycle. I still can’t believe the Dumpster is president, even though he received 2.9 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton.

I had to do some research on how we got in to this situation. The best I can find is that our founding fathers were particularly concerned that white people (and three-fifths-of-a-person African Americans) would not vote the “correct” way, whatever that is. So they created a system that relied on an “electoral college” to choose the president, not the popular vote.

Over the early years, the system occasionally was put in play, but not often. And used even less in recent years, when the popular vote mirrored the electoral college. Who knew that the first time it really came in to play, it was used to make sure that the losing candidate (and the biggest idiot with the least ability) would actually be the one put into office!

As I like to say when the Milorganite hits the fan, no good deed goes unpunished.

 

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