November 6, 2014 1:23 pm -

floriduhOf all the election results this week perhaps none is more stupefying than Rick Scott being reelected as Governor in Florida. His criminal behavior before taking office and anti Florida policies while at the Capital should have been enough to disqualify him for consideration for a second term. But voters in “Flor-i-duh” did just that. Let me try to explain.

I spent most of my pre-college days in a very conservative part of Florida. While my family came from far and wide and never shared the ideology, my classmates and friends mostly did. I spent many high school nights “mudding” in a pick up truck, drinking Miller long necks and singing along to Leonard Skynyrd and Hank Williams Jr. It’s what we did for fun and man, it was great fun!

After spending a great deal of time over the past year back deep in the heart of Red America I am reminded of some things easily forgotten in the many years since then. Living in progressive college towns, Europe, Las Vegas and New York City I’d become removed in many ways from whence I came. It’s been an opportunity to reconnect with my roots and find out what makes typical Republican voters tick.

First of all, conservatives are wonderful people. They are caring, compassionate, open-minded and love a good time. Sure, there may have been some use of kid gloves since my presence there was due to sad and unfortunate circumstances, but they love thy neighbor and are always quick with a smile and a wave from their front porch. You will always get food from your neighbors, perhaps extra fruit from their trees or leftover bar-b-que that is just “too good not to share”. Everyone has a song in their heart and a drink in their hand. It’s a slower and simpler rhythm there, one which it would be easy to become accustomed. I’ve found folks in this Conservative bastion to be as sincere and as good-hearted as they come.floriduh-300x300

So what explains the politics in Red America? Why do they vote for politicians that blatantly go against these admirable traits?

First of all, there is no desire for complexities. Life is simple in Florida and individual political analysis is too. That “big government is bad” is about all that needs to be known. Any complex discussion with people there is fruitless. I didn’t find that much hostility to those who disagree or hold different opinions with them, it’s just that these good folks are not interested in detail or nuance. They hate politics so avoid thinking about it that much. They’ve form their opinions, end of discussion, end of analysis. Opinions here are not flexible based on changing circumstances, once they are set they tend to be set for life. One life, one opinion, let’s have a beer.

Perhaps the most discouraging, if unsurprising thing I found is that the political opinions they do hold are based almost universally on misinformation. The “facts” they present in discussion are not facts at all. The news sources they consume, much more casually than political junkies like me, fill their heads with the falsehoods political observers know too well. I am more convinced than ever that rhetoric from Conservative media steers opinions of Republican voters and not the other way around.

Conservatives may be bad at governing but they know how to get into the minds of these people. It’s sinister. Folks repeat the dishonest talking points not from a position of anger, but of defensiveness. Politics is complicated and challenging themselves to think anew is uncomfortable. It not a lack of intelligence, it’s a lack of desire to expend the energy required to dig deeper into the issues.

There is no happy ending to this story. I have not grown more optimistic about changing the mind of Conservative voters. I don’t know how that will happen. But I am somewhat comforted by the fact that these are just good people caught up in a bad political movement. We may not be able to persuade them to help themselves but it would be wrong to look at them as the enemy. They are friends. Good people steamrolled by a political system that’s difficult to understand and too complicated and confusing to even try.[su_csky_ad]

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

25 responses to View from ‘The Duh’: Why The Sunshine State Is So Flor-I-Duh

  1. tiredoftea November 6th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    The very definition of low information voters!

  2. edmeyer_able November 6th, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I think it’s time for another civil war and cessation of those who want a government run by Democrats. Divide the country in half and let republicans go on their evil ways. You want open carry, unlimited stand your ground, rule by koch industries then go for it. I wish some how it could be done.

    • tiredoftea November 6th, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Sure, just let the South secede and don’t fight it. Problem solved, or not.

    • R.J. Carter November 6th, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Oh, sure, it sounds like a good idea when you say it… 🙂

      • Spirit of America November 7th, 2014 at 9:29 am

        Didn’t I read, on this forum, ohhhh a few times about ‘those wackos that want to secede’… but of course, the way you italicized ‘you’ we may be saying the same thing…

        • OldLefty November 7th, 2014 at 9:46 am

          Actually, both sides have had their tongue and cheek versions of “I want a divorce”.

          It was only after Obama was re-elected that citizens of states files secession petitions.

          • Spirit of America November 7th, 2014 at 10:43 am

            “I want a divorce”
            LOL, I like that euphemism, I may have to borrow that, ok?

          • OldLefty November 7th, 2014 at 11:04 am


            You can Google it, as both sides have it.

            This was from 2005;
            liberal divorce agreement;

            Red States…

            We’ve decided we’re leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we’re taking the other Blue States with us.

            In case you aren’t aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon,Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast.

            We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

            To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

            We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

            We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood.

            We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

            We get Harvard. You get Ole’ Miss.

            We get 85 percent of America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.

            We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states

            pay their fair share.

            Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the

            Christian Coalition’s, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a

            bunch of single moms.

            Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and

            anti-war, and we’re going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at

            once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have

            kids they’re apparently willing to send to their deaths for no

            purpose, and they don’t care if you don’t show pictures of their

            children’s caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and

            hope that the WMDs turn up, but we’re not willing to spend our

            resources in Bush’s Quagmire.

            With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent

            of the country’s fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple

            and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation’s fresh fruit, 95 percent of

            America’s quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners)

            90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most

            of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and

            condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale,

            Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

            With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88

            percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care

            costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the

            tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern

            Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh,

            Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

            We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

            Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was

            actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred

            unless we’re discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say

            that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved

            in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy b*****ds believe you are people

            with higher morals then we lefties.

            By the way, we’re taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt

            weed they grow in Mexico.

            Peace out,

            Blue States

          • Spirit of America November 7th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

            lol, holy cow what a read!

    • Mark Quincy Adams November 6th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      As tempting as it may sound, that’s not a good idea. Not only would minorities, students and other innocents suffer within the borders of these new Red Nations, those living in neighboring states / nations would be subject to the pollution, disease outbreaks and God know what else would spread from inside these little Reaganistans.

      • edmeyer_able November 6th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

        Yes there would be issues in implementation. Those who want to live in the “other” country would receive assistance for a one time relocation. If pollution should cross a border country could be sued.

  3. William November 6th, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Enjoy your Governor Florida. You’ve earned it.

    • R.J. Carter November 6th, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Is that a pre-election advertisement, or one of the quickest calls for a recall ever?

      • William November 6th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

        It’s a pre election advisement. Tacky, yes but factual. During the IRS witch hunt,the right wing eagerly maintained invoking the fifth is all but an admission of guilt. To that end I bring you.

        • crc3 November 6th, 2014 at 3:23 pm

          He should be in prison not the governor’s mansion…..

        • Spirit of America November 6th, 2014 at 5:01 pm

          Ahhh, but what do you believe? Is evoking the 5th admission, or not?

  4. Mark Miller November 6th, 2014 at 2:20 pm


  5. CMathues November 6th, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I refer to it as “intellectual laziness”

  6. crc3 November 6th, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    North central and northern FL is a conservative stronghold just like the states GA…AL…MS…SC…NC…TN…etc. I grew up in SC and know exactly how they think and feel. My parents had bigoted characteristics as did many of my relatives. It’s deep rooted and not likely to change much in the next few decades. Southern FL on the other hand is very liberal and is where Charlie Crist received much of his support. Living in Ft Lauderdale the acceptance of ALL races…religions…and genders is commonplace. There are some very upset people about the election results down here in S FL and I’m one of them. Scott will end up as one of the worst governors in the state’s history (maybe the worst) and he has four more years to do tremendous damage to the state with the help of the Republican super majority in the FL legislature. Thus FL is a state that I would like to leave behind but circumstances prevent it at this time… 🙁

  7. eyelashviper November 7th, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Having lived in Florida for decades (both Miami-Dade and now north central Florida), I think the writer is tremendously kind in his description of cons in the northern parts of the state. The culture is very deep south, and generally is suspicious of “others”, and despite years of segregation, racism is still deeply engrained. He sees the warmth of neighbors, because he is one of the “accepted” ones, but had he darker skin, an unusual name or religion, the welcome would not be so warm.
    Despite living near a university town, in one of the few strongly dem counties in the state, it is easy to see the intolerance in more rural areas. A friend of ours, recently relocated to a nice big woodlot in the sticks, learned quickly not to have bumper stickers supporting liberal or environmental causes (tail gaited by honking pickups, sneers at the gas station, etc).
    Sadly, these kinds of attitudes are not just among the older breed of white racists, but is seen in younger generations as well…we need more education, more opportunities for young people to learn about other groups, and less rant radio and hatred from politicians and interest groups, including evangelical churches.
    I spent my childhood years in other parts of the deep south, and am shocked that we have not moved beyond such xenophobia, ignorance, superstition, and rampant bigotry.

  8. Spirit of America November 7th, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    LOL, You’re on a roll today!!

    • OldLefty November 7th, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Just using what memory I have left since turning 60.

      • Spirit of America November 7th, 2014 at 4:33 pm

        It’s good to see some of the young still have a sense of humor…

        • OldLefty November 7th, 2014 at 4:46 pm

          We all know the biggest problem the world faces, that no one will investigate is the problem with the spacetime continuum.

          I just turned 60 in Sept. Five years ago, I was 15.

          Christmas used to come every 5 years.
          Now it comes every 3 weeks.

          Something is wrong.
          If you are older than me, you know…

          • Spirit of America November 7th, 2014 at 5:54 pm

            lol, never seen it summed up quite that way before!
            (psssst, it goes back to balanced when you’re sleeping, it is only when awake that you notice a shift in the stc. That’s why I learned to be asleep when awake….)