In any given election there’s a race that matters most to the country and to each of us. In Presidential elections, it’s pretty evident. In other elections, it might be less clear. This year the race that matters most to me, I believe, matters most to all of us – even those who won’t be governed by him. It’s Florida’s governor’s race. It’s not just because being governor of Florida means being the governor of the third largest state either. It’s because of the choice at hand and the implications of the outcome.
Starting in 2009, after Republicans were routed during the 2008 Election, the battle for the direction of the party began. The Tea Party led upsets in the 2009 special elections that paved the path for non-establishment candidates that resulted in a wave election for Republicans in 2010. For the next six years, the battle for the soul of the party was on. A tug of war between the establishment and the Tea Party wing was constant. The establishment won in 2012 with Mitt Romney grabbing the GOP nomination but also lost along the way as the Tea Party forced House Speaker John Boehner into retirement. Then Donald Trump entered the picture and smashed the whole battle into pieces remaking the party in his image.
That very battle for the Democratic Party is beginning to culminate as well. The socialist wing of the Democratic Party first made its presence felt in Democratic politics after the 2010 Red wave. Led by the Occupy Wall Street crowd – they made a lot of noise but didn’t really penetrate the mainstream of Democratic establishment politics. They didn’t go away however and shocked establishment Democrats as the chosen one, Hillary Clinton, might not have won the Presidential nomination had the party not stacked the deck for her before the primary process even began. It was a given that the Socialist wing wasn’t going away after making so much progress in 2016 within Democratic politics. Most of us just couldn’t have guessed that our state, Florida, would be ground zero for this battle over party supremacy.
Andrew Gillum isn’t a Democrat, just as Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat. He’s the true socialist experiment of this cycle. The Democratic establishment didn’t back Gillum. Bernie Sanders did. Because of the aspirations of a bunch of Democrat establishment candidates, he slid through with just over a third, just a third of Florida’s Democrats. But once he won the party sure came over to his side quickly. This is what this race really comes down to. If Andrew Gillum can win in Florida, a socialist can win as a Democrat nationally. This race isn’t just about who will govern in Tallahassee for the next four years, it’s the final battle of the future of the Democratic Party. If Andrew Gillum wins, the battle for the Democratic party will have been won by the Socialist Bernie Sanders wing. If he loses there’s still room for the Gwen Graham’s of the world. I mean no disrespect to Ron DeSantis but this race really isn’t about him. It’s about much more.
Florida’s economy is the best it’s ever been. More than half of Florida is experiencing record low unemployment. Most demographics are experiencing record low unemployment in our state. Wage growth is finally above 3% in our state, outperforming the national averages as well. Businesses continue to want to relocate and grow in our state. What happens if we have a 41% increase on even some businesses? Nothing but potential negatives for our economy. I have a hard time imagining how anyone can even deem this to be a rational conversation. Moreover, if the Democratic Party has to look to its right to find Debbie Wasserman Shultz and Nancy Pelosi – may God help us. We’ll need it. They’ll be a Democratic President in the future. Democratic governors of Florida in the future. The question is if they’ll be socialists in a Democrat’s clothing.
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