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The two Americas: California vs Florida

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Florida more or less stayed open during the pandemic and thrived in its defiance. Peter W. Wood writes:

What is America? The answer to that simple question can get you into a lot of trouble. Or it can propel you to the Oval Office.

You can try to run away from the question with adverbs. “Well, historically, America was the name a European mapmaker slapped on the unexplored continents across the Atlantic.” Maybe Amerigo Vespucci, that mapmaker, had Florida in mind, though Vespucci would have struggled to imagine a future figure such as the forty-sixth governor of the state, Ron DeSantis.

Or, “Linguistically, America is an abbreviated form of the United States of America, a political union that traces itself to a local rebellion of thirteen British colonies in the eighteenth century, which grew into territorially aggressive entity.” Eventually these practitioners of settler colonialism found their way to the western extremity of the continent, revolted against Mexican rule and founded the California Republic, which was soon subsumed into the United States where it became the personal vineyard of the entrepreneur and founder of PlumpJack wine store, Gavin Newsom.

[Peter W. Wood, “The two Americas: California vs Florida,” The Spectator, August 20]

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