Got a friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor, facebook or other cyberspace pal who's obviously or seemingly unplugged from this year's election? This would be a good time, in the final days before Election Day, to reach out and try to get them plugged in.
The apathy thing, the "It doesn't matter, politicians do what they want" line, the "They're all on the take" line, or the "I'm not really into politics" line...we've all heard them all, but none of them fly this year. Doesn't matter how true or false they are and doesn't matter that everybody has a right to their own opinion, or lack of opinion.
Because this year, failure to engage with politics and participate in this election could have life-changing negative impact on almost all of us, participants and non-participants alike.
Here's a partial list of legislative initiatives likely to be pursued in coming years if Rick Scott is elected Governor, and/or if too many more Republicans get elected to the state legislature:
- Force pregnant women seeking an abortion, against their will and at their own expense, to have an ultrasound test where they must see and hear evidence of their developing fetus in hopes they'll change their minds
- Outlaw abortions entirely (except in cases of rape or life-threatening medical condition)
- Pass constitutional amendment banning adoption of children by Gay & Lesbian citizens
- Loosen remaining restrictions on development of undeveloped land in Florida
- Lower property taxes that fund Florida's already bottom-ranked Public Education system without any alternative funding system in place and divert some of remaining funds to private school vouchers
- Pass an "Arizona-style" anti-Immigration bill, driving hundreds of thousands of Florida's "hidden economy" low-wage workers out of the state and threatening civil liberties of countless others
- Lower taxes on all businesses, including the very biggest and most profitable ones
- Increase & expand tax breaks/loopholes for big corporations & real estate tycoons
- Weaken environmental protection laws and loosen regulations on Industrial polluters
- Block passage & implementation of carbon emissions standards
- Promote oil/carbon-based energy at expense of Solar & Green Energy initiatives
- Repeal federal health reform now forcing insurers to cover sick kids & young adults
- Cut funding for poor & disabled on Medicaid & force them all into managed care plans
- Legalize school prayer and weaken other separations between Church & State
The list could go on and on. Seriously. That's how ambitious this new breed of conservative Republican extremism is these days. The incoming leadership of the the Florida state legislature is representative of that, with new House Speaker Dean Cannon proudly proclaiming that the upcoming 2011 legislative session will feature "hard right-wing conservatives" aggressively pursuing their agenda.
The remarkable aspect of this movement, along with its ascent to power in Florida, is that so many of those pulling the strings are so ethically compromised. The still relatively new chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, John Thrasher, has a long record of ethics violations in his career. And just this week came the announcement that the incoming president of the Florida State Senate, Mike Haridopolos, is the focus of a major state Ethics Commission investigation.
Of course many others in the FL GOP, infamously including its last chairman, Jim Greer, have already been forced out of office, indicted and jailed for corrupution. The Republican Party of Florida has in fact become known for embracing a "Culture of Corruption", and it certainly seems like that culture is going to be with us a while longer.
Interesting how that coincides with the rise of radical ""hard right-wing" leaders & initiatives.
So what do you think, Florida? Don't you think it's time that all us folks with religious and/or moral-ethical values that guide us, people of any and every political affiliation, people who follow politics and vote and people who don't - Don't you think it's high time we all come together, put our feet down and stop this runaway train in its tracks before it wrecks our state beyond repair?
Wake the family, tell your friends and alert your neighbors: I T'S TIME TO VOTE FOR LIBERTY & JUSTICE FOR ALL. Or be ready & willing to give some up, sooner than you think.