Brandon Patty (Photo: Your Turn)
Dear New Florida Resident:
Welcome to the Sunshine State! Like those of us who already live here, you’re no doubt enjoying Florida’s beautiful weather, affordable housing, favorable tax policies (how about that no state income tax?) and all-around wonderful quality of life.
And for those of you who moved from New York, California or other places – where sky-high housing costs, even higher taxes, crime and traffic are just facts of life – Florida must seem like paradise.
And it is. Which is why your new neighbors have just one simple request: Please don’t break our state.
And by “please don’t break our state,” of course, we mean “please don’t keep voting for the same Democratic policies that ruined the place you just came from.”
You see, for several years now, Floridians have noticed a trend that is as disturbing as it is mystifying. Every month, thousands of new residents pour into our well-run paradise of a state – and then many of our new neighbors continue to vote Democrat.
They don’t seem to comprehend that the reason places like New York, Detroit and California have become unlivable is because those states and cities have been under Democratic control for most of the past 50 years.
Taken to their logical conclusion, Democratic policies of big government spending, overly generous welfare programs and crushing tax burdens eventually destroy even the most prosperous communities.
Detroit is a perfect example: In 1960, Detroit was a shining example of American free enterprise. Its residents enjoyed the highest per capita income of any U.S. city. Then the Democrats took over. Today, Detroit is one of the poorest cities – a shambles where derelict houses and buildings line crime-ridden streets.
Or look at San Francisco. That bastion of the American left should be a liberal utopia, right? And it is – if you recognize that modern liberalism invariably leads to greater income inequality, not less, with big government exacerbating social ills like public drug use, crime and rampant homelessness.
All of which is to say, we get it. We understand why you would want to leave places that have been decimated by the Democratic Party’s liberal policies. What we don’t understand is why you would want to turn Florida into the place you just left by continuing to vote Democrat.
Because, as you are quickly learning, we have it good here. Conservative leadership has made Florida one of the best states in which to live. Republicans at all levels have fought for more freedom, smaller government, better education, less regulation and more innovative policies.
Our great new Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Cabinet and our state Legislature are continuing this trend. And now that you’ve traded your snow shovel for sunscreen, we hope you will trade your Democratic Party membership for the party that made Florida’s success possible – the Republican Party.
So once again, welcome to Florida. We’re so happy you escaped from the broken place you just left. Just please don’t break this one, too.
Brandon Patty is chairman of the St. Johns County Republican Party.