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Today on Context Florida: Greg Evers, loving Hispanics, demagogues and the ‘real America’

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Today on Context Florida:

Peter Schorsch asks: How many times can Department of Corrections officials tick off Greg Evers before they’re really in for it? Last week at a news conference, Evers dropped the bomb that Corrections Secretary Julie Jones and one of her top aides had “lied” to him about the closing of a Broward County prisoner re-entry program. (Evers didn’t name Jones, but a department spokesman confirmed that’s who he had spoken with.) The question now is: When does the re-entry program mess get on Gov. Rick Scott‘s radar? And what will he do about it?

Donald Trump wants the Hispanic vote so badly he can taste it, says Jac VerSteeg. On May 5, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee tweeted a picture of himself celebrating Cinco de Mayo by digging into a huge, meat-filled taco bowl. “I love Hispanics,” Trump tweeted. Presumably in a Twilight Zone, “It’s a cookbook!” kind of way. Our advice to Trump: Beware of Hispanic kitchen staff in your various hotel and casino restaurants studying tracts titled “To Serve Trump.”

Darryl Paulson examines why democracies tend to create demagogues. The drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution did not trust unfettered democracy. The Founders wanted self-government, but they wanted a government where minorities would be heard and protected from the excesses of the majority. Demagogues realize that hatred is a powerful tool in organizing support and creating a mass movement. Stereotyping is linked with hatred to create an “us” versus “them” dynamic. Just as the Nazis stereotyped the Jews, the Klan did the same with blacks. Now, Donald Trump, the GOP presumptive presidential nominee, has stereotyped his enemies. As the Founders feared, democracy has created someone toxic to the American political system. Paulson hopes Americans are wise enough wise enough to recognize Trump’s tactics and strong enough to defeat him in November.

The “real America” is in Tampa, not Des Moines notes Linda Cunningham. As statistics guru Silver says in a recent post on his website, FiveThirtyEight, “that sense that the normal America is out there somewhere in a hamlet where they can’t pronounce “Acela” is misplaced. In fact, it’s not in a small town at all.” today’s real American communities are the complex, sprawling, highly diverse midsize regional metropolitan areas. Tampa is No. 2. New Haven is No. 1. They’re joined in the top 10 by Philadelphia, Chicago, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Oklahoma City and a handful of others.

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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