FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Florida as the New Bellwether State

Carlos Watson of CNN believes that Florida is becoming America's new politically trendsetting state, from the Terri Schiavo controversy, to its pivotal role in the 2000 Presidental election, to a test-based education standard that served as the model for President Bush's federal "No Child Left Behind" initiative.

The reason, Watson suggests, goes beyond Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's relationship with his brother, the President. Florida's growing, diverse population makes it an accurate cross-section of America, containing conservative, moderate and liberal elements. "Florida is incredibly diverse along almost every major dimension (race, age, income, economy, nationality, geography, politics, etc.)," writes Watson, "and consequently now sees many of the most forward-looking problems before anyone else."

Don't look for anything radical or bleeding-edge to come out of Florida. Instead, view it as a microcosm of America, and an indicator of what the average American (if there is such a thing anymore) is thinking and where he/she wants to go. You can bet that the savvy politicians will be.

Source: CNN.com