MARY READY: Messing with Texas and politically confused Florida
The elections are over, and as they say … The people have spoken. Locally, they want big buildings, more traffic, more pollution, and lots of concrete. OK, I get it, and I’m letting go of the lamentations on what Destin used to be. Requiescat in pace. It’s a big, bustling city now (I didn’t vote for cityhood), and unbridled development is her future.
Nationally, the majority of voters apparently want a welfare state, a government Santa Claus/Robin Hood who takes from the have’s to give to the have not’s. I wonder if, before long, the have’s will be too broke from taxation to support the have not’s. Then what? It really doesn’t matter because the world is ending this year on my birthday. The ancient Mayan Calendar predicted an Obama win would set eschatological events in motion, beginning Dec. 21, 2012.
Sometimes, I envy Texans. I lived in Harlingen and Del Rio for several years when I was a kid, and even back then, I could see how unabashedly, politically incorrect those folks are. Guns, executions, beef consumption, gushing oil, big trucks, big belt buckles, cowboy boots for every occasion, etc.
Perhaps, I generalize.
A television producer with a twisted sense of humor has suggested a new reality show, based on the popularity of the “Survivor” series. It would be called “Survivor-Texas Style.” The brave contestants will start in Dallas, drive to Waco, Austin, San Antonio, then over to Houston, and down to Brownsville. They will then proceed up to Del Rio, El Paso, Odessa, Midland, Lubbock, and Amarillo. Then to Abilene and Fort Worth, circling back to Dallas.
Each contestant will be driving a pink Prius with 14 bumper stickers that read:
I’m a Democrat
Amnesty for Illegals
I Love the Dixie Chicks
I voted Obama
George Strait Stinks
Vote Eric Holder — Texas Governor
Rosie O’Donnell for Congress
I Love Obamacare
Barney Frank is My Hero
I Side with Jane Fonda
Ban High School Football
It’s Bush’s Fault
And the biggest, brightest sticker of all is “I’m Here to Confiscate Your Guns.”
The first contestant to make it back alive to Dallas wins.
I know my Democrat friends will be deeply offended by my admiration of Texas, but I’m really not celebrating their generalized political attitudes as much as I am their unashamed, unconfused state personality. With some exceptions, Survivor Texas Style is more accurate than humorous.
I love Florida, but we tend to be a conflicted bunch. And in national elections, our hanging chads and divided political views are a source of amusement and frustration for the rest of the nation. Remember the FLORIDUH jokes after the Bush/Gore vote?
My understanding is that Governor Scott has said he won't implement parts of President Obama's health care. He insists it would be too expensive to carry out and would harm businesses by raising their costs. However, our state voted down his $20 million tax cut for small businesses and a constitutional amendment that would have made it tougher to implement Obama’s healthcare plan.
Last week, I paid $408 for my husband’s heart medicine and insulin. Even with Medicare paying the rest of the bill, that’s a big dent in our budget. By cutting back on other things, we can just afford it, but we’re fortunate. How about those million uninsured Floridians who do without because even cutting back won’t help pay for prescriptions. Mr. Obama, please help.
I may have voted the other way, but I’m willing to give the president’s political agenda a chance, especially since I wasn’t keen on Romney either. However, I’m realistic enough to know we’re in for some rude surprises, not only with healthcare, but with other special concerns throughout our politically confused Florida. The rude surprises will no doubt include Medicare and Social Security, important since we live in a retirement state dependent upon these programs.
Then, there’s the economy. I hope the predictions by some of Florida’s professorial economists are right, and we’ll see a surge of new jobs, tourism, and increased consumer spending. Color me cynical.
Now for immigration. Florida has approximately 850,000 illegals. Oh, never mind, I’m getting a headache just thinking about it.
Florida homeowners have been promised help on upside down mortgages. We can only hope. And our environment may benefit by proposed federal spending slated to re-plumb the Everglades to preserve South Florida’s environment, wildlife, and fresh water supplies.
And if it all goes down the drain, there’s always Dec. 21.
Mary Ready of Destin is a twice-retired English teacher and long-time area resident. Her columns are published on Saturdays.