Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

Open Letter to Florida
AJ Robinson

Just recently, we had a little election here in Florida. For some bizarre reason that still defies my ability to comprehend, enough people voted for Rick Scott to re-elect him as governor. I’m still having trouble processing the whole thing.


Scott did not win a majority of Floridians.

Now, please note, I did not say he won a majority! No, he got something like forty-nine percent of the votes; it’s clear that a majority of voters do not like him. It’s just that not enough of my neighbours voted.

I have no idea why not, especially considering the important issues we face. I saw a recent series of “Letters to the Editor,” in the local Orlando, Florida, newspaper that got me thinking. The letters were from common citizens and they listed things they wanted the governor to address in his second term. When I saw them, I felt compelled to reply and that’s the reason for this little diatribe.


My Dear Neighbours:

By neighbours I mean all the citizens of Florida, not just the people living near me, you’re being quite foolish. Based on the letters you wrote to the editor, I see where your priorities lie. First, you want the governor to fix the matter of ex-felons denied the right to vote. You want him to restore that right.

You want Scott to expand Medicaid, which is part of the Affordable Care Act.

Then there’s education. Two of your letters addressed this issue, which is of critical importance. Yes, many people in Florida are older, even retired, and thus have no school age children. Still, you recognize the need for a well-educated population. Not merely for a thriving economy, but also that educated voters make better decisions.

Finally, you called on the governor to represent all the people, not just the special interests.


My response:

Are you people aware that the marijuana amendment failed to pass? Because, whatever it is you’re smoking, you need to stop before you the police arrest you. I’m sorry to be so blunt and harsh, but you are all delusional.

Let’s take them one by one. First, Rick Scott has no interest in helping ex-cons; they are not likely to vote for republicans, if they had the vote. They’re also mostly poor and many are minorities. Think, people, these are not a group that Scott gives a damn about. Restore the rights of ex-felons, never.

Next, there’s Medicaid. Well, considering Scott has not embraced the ACA, has not set up a state exchange for healthcare and has made it clear that he never will, what makes you think he’s going to suddenly change his tune and do exactly that? Again, it’s never going to happen.


Thousands must live with health care, needlessly.

Thousands of our neighbours must live without healthcare, all because you either voted for Scott or decided not to vote at all. The turnout for this election was the lowest since 1942. So, think about that in the coming years. Women, men and children get sick. They must go to the Emergency Room (ER). This adds to our health costs; many of them dying because you couldn’t be bothered to vote.

Now we come to education. Again, I must ask, “What are you smoking?” Have you forgotten, Scott slashed education by a billion dollars? He did it just to give tax cuts to the rich and corporations.

Scott promised those cuts would yield seven hundred thousand jobs more than our normal growth. To paraphrase a popular refrain of the GOP: “Where are the jobs, governor?” To date, we’ve had under that figure in total job growth. Scott is far behind the curve, isn’t he?

Finally, there’s the matter of him representing everybody. This is perhaps your greatest delusion. Scott has done nothing for the poor, for children, for minorities and, most especially, nothing for women. He owes his allegiance to the rich and the corporations, no one else; he will do nothing for anyone else.

If some think that I’m wrong, that’s fine. I can only judge the man by his previous actions. In the coming years, we will have to see if my predictions pan out. I frankly hope and pray that I’m wrong, but I doubt it. If you look back over my past predictions, you’ll see that I have damn good batting average.

As for you, “Neighbour Scott, I most definitely hope you show that I’m wrong. Go for it!


Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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