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Today on Context Florida: Electoral College, Middle-Class Champions, sharing bathrooms and mindfulness

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Today on Context Florida:

Voters don’t understand, or like, the Electoral College, says Darryl Paulson. He offers a few basic facts about the electoral-college system. First, very few voters understand how it works. Second, most voters hate the system. Third, the system is almost impossible to change. Those who drafted the Constitution had little trust in democracy. James Madison, in The Federalist Papers, wrote that unfettered majorities tend toward “tyranny.” John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence and second President, noted that “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo praises the ‘Middle-Class Champions’ who stand tall in Tallahassee. He points to the need for a growing economy that works for all Floridians, not just the wealthy and well-connected. But all too often, state lawmakers put large campaign donors, corporate special interests and ideological extremism above the needs of everyday Floridians. Fortunately, there are some silver linings among the dark clouds of big-money influence that hang over Tallahassee. That’s why for the sixth consecutive year, Progress Florida has recognized a group of Florida legislators as “Middle-Class Champions” for their unwavering support of Florida families.

Seriously, asks Linda Cunningham? We are arguing about sharing bathrooms again? Didn’t we get that out of our collective political systems in the five years it took to kill the Equal Rights Amendment? On March 22, 1972, Congress sent the simply worded, proposed 27th Amendment to the states for approval. Congress gave the states seven years to ratify the amendment and required 38 states to say yes. It failed, falling three short. And what riled the opposition most? Why, bathrooms.

Traci Evison says her best conversations are when she is alone. These periods of persuasive expression are the result of her practiced “mindfulness,” or just the state of trying to minimize all the clutter of extraneous thoughts. Too many people develop the habit of focusing on details that are not important, such as comparing their new-car purchase with the neighbor’s, or dwelling on whether they ruined their diet by indulging in pizza and chocolate pie last night for dinner. Evison believes this can increase their stress level if they don’t make an effort to redirect their thoughts. For the past five years or so, she has found the practice of mindfulness to be her solution.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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