The 2018 midterms were the first election I voted in, and the first major election since the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., which forever changed the community I grew up in.
I could see this transformation almost 800 miles away in Chapel Hill. Young people flocked to the polls in my city, posting selfies of their “I Voted” stickers and encouraging others to join them. My parents voted in the midterms for the first time alongside me. The movement the students in Parkland started seemed to transcend South Florida, reaching every corner of the nation.
So that’s why, despite the profound gains Democrats made last night, it was hard not to cut off all ties with my home state.
To recap, Florida elected Rick Scott over our incumbent senator Bill Nelson, and Ron DeSantis over progressive star Andrew Gillum for governor, all with razor-thin margins. DeSantis’s racially-charged campaign seemed to be based solely off of him being liked by Trump. A state that’s less than 10 feet above sea level in most places elected representatives who refuse to acknowledge, or even believe, in climate change. Both are NRA-backed politicians, a slap in the face to the Parkland community who worked so tirelessly to advocate for gun control.
Trump’s election wasn’t a fluke – his ideology is very much alive throughout the country.