The results of this week’s midterm elections in Florida turned out exactly as I predicted.
This is probably because I live (when not traveling overseas for long periods of time) in a Sunshine State county where 99 per cent of its residents probably think Nixon was just a misunderstood guy.
I did not vote, partly in solidarity with the Seminole tribe, Florida’s rightful owners — the only native Americans who fought back and never surrendered to the colonial occupation project that calls itself the United States, until, more than a century after after the March of Tears, the US bribed some corrupt tribal elders in the 1980s with promises of casino money.
I also stayed away as participating in this sham system would have signaled my tacit acceptance of local, state and global policies that I find not only indefensible but outright revolting. Republicans set up the game to be crooked, and I will only vote on a level playing field, instead the sham minority rule democracy that is the US.
While my wife held on to the hope that Nelson and Gillum would win, I had no such illusions — although I could turn out to wrong in the end, and by some miracle, the progressive slate turns out to have won, despite every manner of Republican chicanery that was practised during this election.
A word to the wise; don’t expect much in a process that is controlled by one of the most rancid Republican legislatures in the country… although, it looks like this matter may not be settled after all.
America is what it is, a society where, in large swaths of the country, the stench of slavery-based racism lingers, and guns remain the potent symbol of choice of a bigoted white male minority — who more and more, are coming to resemble the Alawites in Syria: a hated religious clan that terrorizes the many; there are probably many now in this country that view the Republican Party and their supporters as little more than a terrorist organization.
Florida is — and will continue to be — perhaps forever — a state that attracts the sort of demographic that you would expect or perhaps have read about over the years.
Whether old or not, their racism tends to be deeply ingrained, sometimes overtly so, sometimes not, and misogynistic to the core, in the name of Jesus of course, stunningly uneducated except in narrow areas relating to how they earn a living, and fearful of anything that’s not in their mirror image.
This will not change any time soon.
Rather than my waste any more time in this blog railing against things I cannot change, I will focus on those positive things that I can.
That means avoiding the stench of American politics at any level; with my EU passport, I have choices, which I will make by the Spring of 2019.
I know there will be millions out there who will dab a bitter tear at the prospect of being deprived of the magnificently-written free content you have been privileged to read here over the last 2 or so years.
However, I can say with confidence that what I have had to say about living in the state of Florida does NOT exactly qualify as news: the reality is, everybody knows the truth about this sketchy place.
For too many who live here, whether native Floridians or twisted transplants (there is a saying here in Florida that shit rolls downhill), the lure of brown proto-fascist shirtism (in this case, the ubiquitous red MAGA baseball caps) and the smugness of white, racist hegemony is what attracts and brings them here in droves in the first place.
Florida is nothing if not a fortress of American racism, pure and simple; it has not changed since I walked into a Ft Lauderdale dive in 1968 on my Junior Year High School Spring break and saw a sign behind the bar that read No dogs or niggers allowed.
So, with that in mind as a pleasant memory of what this place continues to be about, I’m going to suspend this blog for a while and spend my energies on turning my dreams into a reality elsewhere — unless Gillum and Nelson prevail.
So long as Trump is allowed to remain in the White House, the United States will continue to come across as a nasty, dangerous, cesspool. populated by imbecilic right-wing racists, with powerless coastal (NE and Cali) liberal enclaves wringing their hands on the sidelines, and a tiny plutocracy gloating all the way to the bank.
And now America’s much vaunted “freedom” has turned into a cynical punch line, especially with the terrifying specter of ubiquitous IoT technology slowly destroying what little is left of our privacy.
Therefore leave I must, with a sense of sadness, yet with a hope that a core group of millennial leaders will rise up and refuse to accept any more the catastrophic policies of the geriatric monsters of the past.
This blog may resume next Spring when I make the move to Shangri-La and forever escape a land that to an Arab-American feels the way Moors and Jews must have felt during the Spanish Inquisition or the Portuguese Reconquista.
Best of luck to all of you, as ya’ll all be needing it in what promises to shape up as very difficult times ahead.
But in the end, there is a slim chance that Trump and his Senate enablers will be relentlessly hounded and voted out of office in 2020 and finally subjected to the rule of law that will surely have him, some of his family, and the slimeball grifters who thought they could hoodwink America with impunity, get exactly what they deserve.
What goes around comes around.
But, alas, not always.
So has Florida turned into the Nazi state?
We shall soon find out.