Wednesday, February 26, 2020

How To Lose Florida

Bernie Sanders should know better than to say anything at all out loud about Fidel Castro.  Period.

From the Miami Herald:

During Tuesday night’s presidential primary debate in South Carolina, Sanders, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, was blasted by his rivals over comments he made in a ”60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday praising literacy rates on the Caribbean island following Castro’s 1959 Cuban revolution.

Pressed by CBS moderators on his past “sympathies” for socialist regimes in Cuba and Nicaragua, Sanders defended himself, saying he’s condemned authoritarian regimes across the world. He said he was repeating talking points used by former President Barack Obama during a 2016 appearance in Havana.

It’s the first thing you learn when you live here, especially if you’re an Anglo from the north.  It doesn’t matter how nuanced you make it, it doesn’t matter how many times you say Castro was evil incarnate; as soon as you follow that with a “but… ” you’re asking for trouble.  Don’t go there.  Just don’t.

Ironically, there are a lot of Cubans who might agree with Sanders on things like literacy rates and health care, but they can say that; they’re Cubans, even if they’re second or third generation American-born and the closest they get to Cuba itself is the scrapbook their abuela has under the coffee table.  But let an Anglo pipe up with anything that remotely suggests a view other than hard-core anti-Castro and they’re all over you like beans on rice.  That’s part of the complexity of life in South Florida, and if you want to win an election here, stay the hell away from any discussion that involves Cuba and Castro.  If asked, you’re better off going with “Hey, how about those Marlins?”

Hey, Bernie, if you want to praise a socialist system, talk up the legacy of Olof Palme.  There aren’t that many Swedes here in Miami.