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Today on Context Florida: Republicans don’t think – they believe, high-stakes elections, America at a crossroads and tanning beds

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Today on Context Florida:

Florida GOP voters don’t want to think, says Diane Roberts, they just want to believe. Rick Scott endorsed his Soul Brother, but only after that big Florida Primary win. Scott signaled his man-crush back in January, writing breathlessly for USA Today that Herr Drumpf reminds him of, well, him: wealthy, an “outsider,” a business hombre incensed over “endless and tedious regulation and taxation.” You know …  crap like the Clean Water Act. And the Voting Rights Act. Still, Scott couldn’t quite bring himself to come out all the way for the eccentrically coiffed braggart until he saw which way Florida Republicans would blow.

There’s never been a more unpredictable, volatile election. Or, as Mark Ferrulo notes, one where the stakes are so high. And, in Florida, where there is a history of extremely close elections, voters won’t only be selecting candidates for president and the U.S. Senate this year. They will also be deciding who sits on the U.S. Supreme Court for the next 20 years and choosing between two starkly different Americas. Will we welcome diversity? Will we close opportunities? Will we listen to the scientists about climate change or bury our head in the sand?  Will it be harder or easier to vote, get health care or a college education, and have an economy that works for all Floridians, not just the wealthy?

There is much at stake in the presidential election, says Ed Moore. Our nation appears to be at a crossroads. The November general election will test us. One candidate will end up as the face of what Ronald Reagan described as “the last best hope of mankind.” We all must reflect on who we want to be as a people. Will we stand tall against the best annals of our ancestors or will we instead choose to match them when they stumbled?

In many states, teens are required to get parental permission before they can climb into an indoor tanning bed. Soon, according to Eric Boehm, even parental consent might not be enough. The federal government is poised to let nannyism override parental consent. The Food and Drug Administration recently unveiled new rules for indoor tanning that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from using a tanning bed. The FDA says the new regulations are part of commitment to “protecting public health by informing consumers about the risks of indoor tanning.” Experts say “sun exposure is beneficial in moderation, but can be harmful in excess.” But when the government acts, its policies leave no room for moderation.

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 His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, 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 and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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