Turn on any late night talk show and at least one of the jokes will inevitably be about some embarassing event that happened in Florida. Last week’s gubernatorial debate provided more fodder for comedians’ opening monologues as Republican candidate, Rick Scott, initially refused to debate after Democratic candidate, Charlie Crist, brought an electric fan to cool himself during the debate.
This odd turn in the gubernatorial race should not have come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Florida politics.Characterized by rampant attack ads and trivial fan-related foibles, this election cycle has been a testament to the sorry state of our state.
The two major candidates have based their campaigns on little substance and much mudslinging. Rick Scott (R) and Charlie Crist (D) have been leading smear campaigns against each other.
When the people we elect to represent us act like children, it casts a dark shadow over our state once again.
Both candidates, although neck-and-neck in polls, are actually not particularly popular among voters. Most people will end up voting for the lesser of two evils, whether for them that is Scott or Crist.
It is clear that these candidates do not like each other or share much common ground. What is not clear is where they stand on the important issues that concern students. What will each candidate do to control the ever growing number of standardized tests that take away weeks of instructional time? What are they doing to keep the cost of tuition down at state universities? What are they doing to ensure that there will be jobs that pay a decent salary when students graduate for college?
As students and residents of Florida, we must take an active role in the way our state is run. We need to demand that a comprehensive plan be in place for the education of our state, including at the college level.
Our politicians clearly need to be sent a message: we do not want to be governed by petty children. We deserve leaders with an actual interest in the progress and upkeep of our state, with an actual plan to turn around the soiled image of our state. We need real leaders.