What’s Wrong With Florida?

Florida

Jon Stewart has a recurring joke about Florida: “It’s America’s wang.”

I’ve only been there once before, as a kid, for my uncle’s 50th birthday. I was sick a lot, and it was humid and buggy the whole time. I remember a can of pop at the Disney Caribbean Island themed hotel cost $5, and that almost every highway was a toll road.

Last Saturday’s verdict is far from Florida’s first disgraceful courtroom drama. The media narrative of the Casey Anthony trial immediately comes to mind, and anyone who remembers the 2004 presidential election is probably inclined to agree with the rest of the country’s perception of Florida as the fundamentally wrongest state in the U.S.

MSNBC’s late-night coverage of the the Zimmerman verdict was hosted by Chris Jansing and featured Lisa Bloom (along with Julianne Reed and personal favorite Melissa Harris Perry).  From Bloom that night I learned Gov. Rick Scott (a former CEO of a for-profit healthcare company responsible for 14 counts of felony Medicare fraud) is known to be deep within the hunting-vest pocket of the National Rifle Association. Bloom elaborates with the colloquialism that an NRA lobbyist is “a defacto governor” in Florida.

From watching the Vanguard documentary series on Current TV, I’ve learned that Florida is also the country’s foremost supplier in the illegal prescription narcotics trade. Out of state hustlers get pills from Florida’s “pain clinics” and distribute them to addicts across the East Coast.

With all the clown-courts, gun-nuts, and drug-pushers in the Sunshine State it’s hard to imagine it as anything other than a low-down-dirty gangster’s paradise. Also, I saw Spring Breakers. So I kind of just assume all Floridians are James Franco as Alien.

Just like a band or a basketball team, a country is only as good as its weakest member. Let’s take an opportunity to try and put some effort into the Florida situation. Maybe with the right idea we can fix it before the sea levels rise and put them all underwater.

- Beck Kilkenny