A day after he was elected, a Collier County School Board member said he favors bringing corporal punishment back to the classroom.
How do you feel about paddling students? Right? Wrong? Only with the parents’ permission?
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Governor plays here, but not nationwide
Gov. Ron DeSantis said after his election victory, “Florida is where woke goes to die.” Given the election results in the rest of the country, the only thing that goes to die in Florida is uneducated and uninformed white males and not much else.
The rest of the country soundly rejected most everything MAGA and DeSantis stand for in one of the most crushing defeats for the party out of power in U.S. political history.
DeSantis has a rude political awakening coming when he steps out on the national political stage with his ideas and policies, which may play well in Florida but are totally out of step with mainstream America.
And then there is Donald Trump, who is doubly mad at DeSantis, not only for indicating he’ll run against him in 2024, but also for not showing the right degree of fealty.
Once Trump gets through destroying DeSantis, the governor will be a diminished figure.
Felton Marans, Lakewood Ranch
Integrity triumphs at the polls, overall
What a wonderful surprise to see integrity, intelligence and insight win – in most cases – over blind allegiance and conspiracy theories at the polls. It restored my faith in the American voters.
I guess it was too much to ask that Marco Rubio and Ron DeSantis fail along with so many other extremists.
We really need to revisit an outcome based on a popular vote. I love Florida, but I sure don’t love its politics. DeSantis is an extremist who is intent on destroying our rights.
Cynthia Greene, North Venice
Party segregation in Capitol needs to end
The all-too-often used rhetoric of “working across the aisle” is typically nothing more than a hollow campaign metaphor. Rather, it is a reflection of our increasingly divided nation.
In our U.S. Capitol, as well all 50 statehouses, Republicans and Democrats are seated separately. This political segregation makes it easier for party leaders to control the members of their respective caucuses and their votes, and for legislators to demonize members of the “other” party.
After the 9/11 attacks, members of Congress rearranged their seating, mixing Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate chambers and providing a visual image of our country as being united. Sadly, the invisible seating wall separating the “R’s” and “D’s” resumed within a week.
Perhaps if members were randomly assigned seating every six months, they might get to know some of their peers.
They might be surprised to learn those sitting next to them are decent people who, despite disagreeing on some matters, share common ground on many issues.
As it is infinitely harder to hate people you get to know on a personal level, developing such interpersonal relationships could lead to eliminating the offensive name-calling that has become all too accepted and result in more bipartisan compromises and productive legislation benefiting the American people, whom they profess to represent.
Dick Newbert, Sarasota
Denial persists, despite Ian, Nicole
There is a saying that people get the leaders they deserve. Floridians voted against their own best interests on issues including freedom, health, education, climate change, overcrowding and overdevelopment.
There is no political will to tackle climate change, even though many residents of the Gulf Coast suffered damage from Hurricane Ian, and some lost everything.
Horrific pictures of beach erosion from Hurricane Nicole showed homes, condos and hotels on Florida’s Atlantic Coast washed away overnight.
Yet most people still choose to be in denial.
Red tide has exploded in the last few weeks, causing coughing even in people with no respiratory issues (“Red tide reaches Manatee County,” Nov. 10). Dead fish floated in the Intracoastal Waterway this week.
In his final campaign mailer, Nick Pachota, now mayor-elect of Venice, stated that he is “Finding a solution to red tide.”
What nonsense. It has been known for years that agricultural runoff, especially from the sugar-cane industry, and human waste carried into the ocean from poor stormwater systems are major culprits.
Start implementing solutions.
Have we passed the tipping point where no amount of effort will stop Earth from becoming a dead planet? Having soiled our own nest, we now play the fiddle while Rome burns.
Joan Farrell, Venice