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Thistlethwaite: Politics of division won’t help Florida recover

Florida Devastation Left in Hurricane Ian’s Path Heartbreaking. Many Floridians have also spent time here in the Vail area and around Eagle County and I am sure many of us know friends who have been affected. , in fact, I am concerned for all those who have been harmed.

President Joe Biden swiftly and appropriately declared a catastrophe in Floridaand ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local funds.

This contrasts with Ron DeSantis’ vote in Congress on Day Two in 2013 against funding victims of Hurricane Sandy.DeSantis, now governor of Florida, didn’t care about the victims of the hurricane.

President Biden knows what it means to govern fairly and properly.

Now DeSantis is about to turn away from his reign by culture wars What has he pursued as governor of Florida to appear like a leader in this hurricane crisis.

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The problem is that DeSantis spends a lot of time in the office, dividing Floridians and attacking everyone who seems to oppose him. Dividing people, pitting them against each other, demonizing the weak, and fostering the illusion of narrow and distorted Christian values ​​erodes communities to the core.

DeSantis attacked Mickey Mouse (Disney) for Pete. He sent the ill-fated immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard.criticized teachers for trying to impose a “Christian fundamentalist view” on civics classes.and did all he could to limit the rights of women Control your body in a state.

This is undermining Florida’s public good, but the people of Florida need to come together to overcome this crisis caused by Hurricane Ian. They have to deal with not only Ian’s physical wreckage, but also the long-term economic ramifications. It shows neighbors helping their neighbors in so many ways.

But DeSantis governance by department has been devastating to the network community and I believe the entire state needs to recover well from the catastrophe. DeSantis’ politics of division divides, not unites. It singled out the vulnerable and fostered the Trumpian elevation of brutality to virtue rather than vice.

Can those repeatedly soaked in the poison of divisive politics be able to shake it off and turn to neighbors who care for their neighbors in the long term?

Florida has so many issues to deal with even after power is restored, streets are cleared, buildings are rebuilt, and normalcy returns. One key example is that Florida’s insurance industry has been in turmoil for quite some time. Totally inadequate for the current crisis. Will building codes tighten again, as they did after Hurricane Andrew? What about better flood infrastructure? The list of required long-term changes is long.

I have little faith that DeSantis’ “pivot” will continue. He will default to what is politically best for him, which is clearly the politics of division.

I have more faith in the people of Florida helping each other during this dire time. I hope they maintain that spirit and demand that it continue in their leadership.

Sun Sentinel has a great list of ways to donate to help now.

Neighbor helping neighbor, near and far, is always the best idea and the best politics.

Reverend Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of the Chicago Theological Seminary. She and her husband now have a home in the Vale Valley.

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