At Spectator World, the editors discuss how Florida “feels” different than the rest of America today. The state, they write, feels “more exciting, more open-minded, more optimistic, more American.” The “true significance of Florida today,” they conclude, is “as a refresher course in all the things that make America great.” They write:
Economically speaking, Florida is a libertarian triumph. While individuals have flocked to Florida to avoid blue-state pandemic rules, businesses are migrating south in search of a less hostile environment. That success, as Sal Nuzzo describes, has been years in the making, though with the state growing so quickly, the question is whether Florida becomes a victim of its own success. Will new arrivals alter the state’s politics and kill the goose that laid the golden egg? Can Miami keep its newfound status as a tech hub without going the way of San Francisco? That once-great American city has been ruined by permissive instincts on crime and restrictive instincts on just about everything else. Miami native Alex Perez certainly sees trouble on the horizon for his hometown.
Perhaps the most important part of the Florida moment is its overlapping political and demographic trends. On electoral maps, the state has taken on the hue of a snowbird who has spent too long in the sun. The truly troubling thing for Democrats is that the state has gone from purple to red even as it gets more racially diverse. With 20 million residents and climbing, Florida is getting less white and more conservative. Trends among minority voters in other states suggest that Florida could offer a sign of things to come nationwide. That doesn’t just foretell electoral trouble for the left, but cuts far deeper, contradicting the patronizing folklore of the rainbow coalition that will unite to vanquish the reactionary forces that defend white supremacy.
What connects these various threads is the state’s role as a counterexample to the liberal tale that dominates the upper echelons of American public life. From Covid to demographics, the Sunshine State is a dissenting opinion come alive. If the states are the laboratories of democracy, the results of the Florida experiment are impressive.
But the Florida example is as much about tone as it is substance. From the tut-tutting of the Covid scolds and the furrowed brows of the enforcers of woke dogma to the experts-know-best sanctimony of this administration’s policymakers, a dreary, mood dominates Joe Biden’s Democratic Party. In Florida, things feel different: more exciting, more open-minded, more optimistic, more American. Perhaps that’s the true significance of Florida today: as a refresher course in all the things that make America great.
As goes Florida…
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