Monday, February 6, 2012

Alas, Florida ended nothing of value

WHEN MY father retired, he sold his small garage in Pennsylvania and moved, tribal-style, to Miami with Mom and several other family elders. There, they arranged to have modest new homes side by side in the shade of ficus and palm trees. The resettlement meant that I was obligated to head south with Nancy and our two young sons at vacation intervals. A long tiring drive from Columbus, it was. And it forever raised the critical question: Are we in Florida yet? When we crossed the state line from Georgia, a cheer went up. The signs welcomed us to the Sunshine State. We had finally reached our destination! Only several hundred miles separated us from Biscayne Blvd. But after four or five hours of boring travel with Miami not in sight, the mood turned morose again.

I recalled those annual family visits in the earlier Republican presidential tussles for delegates with the naive hope that the Florida primary would be the final destination in this strung-out theatrical absurdity. Resigned to the fact that one of the four candidates would be the likely nominee among the ficus and palm trees, I thought it would spare the rest of the nation of the new glossary of political babble clogging our ears. (McMitt continues to top the list with "self-deportation" as public policy. ) I could finally erase those long sweaty we'll-never-get-there journeys to Florida with the word that the GOP quest for sunny greatness after longish travel was finally settled.

The media, of course, covered the climactic days as though the Martians had landed in the Parrot Jungle. Disney World, after all, had nothing to match it. Now with my dream of a Floridian solution to escape from the GOP quartet, I'm left with the challenge to set out to my former home in Columbus to await the March 6 primary while asking, "Are they in Ohio yet"?

1 comment:

David Hess said...

This whole "strung-out affair" summons memories of the island-to-island campaign in the Pacific during WW2. In this case, however, most of the softening up of the beachheads has become an intramural spectacle within the Grand Old Party, as the combatants savage one another with negative ads and nasty repartees on televised debates. Fueled, of course, by barrels of money from Supreme Court-sanctioned "independent" committees, fat-cat barons of commerce, and other assorted plutocrats. The casualty count is sadly mounting for constructive proposals to rescue the economy, provide a humane resolution of the immigration issue, chart a practical path to reducing the debt load, meet the approaching threat of catastrophic global climate change, tame the high cost of military spending, expand health care to all the uninsured while slowing the rise in its uncontrolled costs, enact a coherent energy policy that promotes alternatives to fossil fuels, and create smart new methods to train and educate our young for skilled jobs and professions. When was the last time you heard anything but mindless and often inane slogans from any of those would-be presidents?