Could we just secede?

South Florida is a wonderful place to live--we have terrific weather, interesting people, a wide range of cultures intermingling, some local industry, tourism, and the politics are fairly liberal--not San Francisco level, but better than a lot of places I've lived. Florida as a whole, however, is dominated by that deadly mix of anti-tax, anti-intellectual coalition of Republicans that have turned the south red for the last two presidential election cycles, and threaten to make it three.

For example, it was a big deal to many when Florida decided to add the word "evolution" to its science textbooks. Lots of people outside the state were surprised to learn that Florida law had prohibited the use of the word "evolution" in school textbooks. It wasn't a surprise to those of us who live here. We're used to it by now.

You see, south Florida and north Florida are really two different states. South Florida is the land of sun and citrus and, if you include Orlando, the entertainment industry, while north Florida is the land of, well, south Georgia and south Alabama. And guess who has more pull in Tallahassee. Here's a hint:

As a result, under the House plan, Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, though they educate about 30 percent of the state's public school students, stand to lose a combined total of close to $129 million — about 60 percent of the statewide drop in spending.
It's not enough that we're talking about cutting education funding--again. It's not enough that Florida already ranks near the bottom in per-student spending on education. Now the state wants to take the biggest chunk of more disastrous cuts out of south Florida's ass--not the northern part of the state, which reliably sends satisfied-in-their-stupidity Republicans to the state legislature, but the southern part.

And it's always like this. The northern part of the state always hoses us, because it can. So I have a suggestion. Let's secede. Not from the nation, but from the state. Let's ask the various counties who'd be interested in forming the new state of South Florida, or Carribbea, or whatever you want to call it. Maybe we draw a line horizontally across the state just north of Orlando, or diagonally from Jacksonville to just north of Tampa. I'm not really choosy. I would just like a state where legislative priorities don't involve cutting education funding in favor of even more tax cuts, where the controversy over the word "evolution" in a biology textbook is not over its inclusion, but over its exclusion. I'd like a state where my gay friends can legally adopt kids if they want to, and where gay people might have have the slightest chance of getting married one day.

In short, I'd like a state that reflects the larger community in which I live. I don't live in Tallahassee or Gainesville or Destin or Lakeland Lake City for a reason, and I'm tired of being governed by the people who do live there. Yes, I'm being snarky when it comes to actually calling for secession from the state, but it's borne out of a real frustration with the fact that the state government does not represent us, and that things need to change.

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