Welcome In! Coming to you from the Concurrent Media Studio in the heart of Citrus County. However you’re making this part of your day whether it’s Apple Podcasts, Spotify, the iHeartRadio app or even through the Concurrent mobile app or website I’m sure glad you’re joining us.
Wasn't that fun last Tuesday? All I can say is how great is it to be a Floridian? You get the sayings that make the rounds but let's make America Florida has never had more truth behind it than after Tuesday night. It's hard to believe the midterms are now a week behind us, congratulations to commissioner elect Diana Finegan and to new school board member Joe Faherty as well as several others including mosquito control board re-election of Joe Adams and I won't go down the full list but running for office is never easy and my hats off to everyone who gave it an honest shot that qualifier to purposefully exclude Paul Grogan.
Former President Donald Trump is said to make his presidential announcement tonight that is likely going to move up the timeline of some of the more fringe candidates like Mike Pompeo, Larry Hogan, a couple others. Governor Ron DeSantis and former vice president Mike Pence will largely be unaffected by this as their supporters know their intentions and they don't need to start introducing themselves to Republican primary voters the way that say an obscure moderate Maryland governor needs to.
But look, I know very little bit about national politics. I know it feels like I should be a good source of that but there's only so much I can keep straight in my brain and I prefer to prioritize local issues, statewide issues, academic research, the last 15 years of stats for the Tampa Bay lightning hockey team, and then somewhere after 50 ft of crap is what goes on in federal politics. But you don't come to the show for news as it happens anyway, you tune in for local perspective so let's get to that now.
I was talking to a friend of mine this week, he works in an industry related to the housing market, so his business has slowed drastically over the last year and all but evaporated in the last several months. He’s responsible with his money for the most part but missed his target number that he wanted to set himself up knowing the slow down was come. And then he said this to me. He said I just want to be rich enough to wear cheap watches.
The sentiment is one that is so relatable once you realize it. He feels that there is a threshold of wealth escaping him where he will feel so comfortable with what he’s worth that he no longer feels the need to try to impress others. But that’s only part of it. It goes deeper.
There will come a point, he imagines, that something will be so dull once you obtain the ability to do it, that you won’t even want to even if you can. You can afford the Rolex but you rock the Timex because both tell time just the same.
I get this. And while I do alright, I certainly haven’t reached the level of wealth he’s talking about, but it doesn’t need to be triggered by financial success.For me, it was the impending birth of our first child that changed my perspective. I sold my custom 4x4 flashy truck and bought my grandfather’s tiny truck that was a decade older but that with only 20,000 miles on it would last a decade longer. Utility became more important than flash.
Having no desire to run for public office myself, I’ve often wondered though if actually getting elected has this same effect. Winning can be everything to candidates, but doing the job and campaigning are two very different things. You might think that just becoming a representative in the state house will give you both the ability to help others that you desire and the respect that you deserve.
Let’s take an aside here, I use state house as an example not because I think Dr. Ralph Massullo saw running for office this way, he was a widely respected man prior to his election in 2016, but rather because I think those that might get into the race after he is term-limited out these two years will run for respect they feel they’re owed. I also chose not to use county commission as an example because I think Commissioners-elect Rebecca Bays and Diana Finegan ran for all the right reasons as well.
Wondering if people know what they are getting into when they seek office, particularly those offices like commission or president that have four year terms as opposed to state house or congressional rep that are only two years, is fascinating to me. Four years is a long time! I mean, I’ve only lived in Citrus County for six and I’m sure it’s felt like an eternity to some of the old guard who worked in politics prior to my arrival.
Some candidates who will presumably be seeking reelection you can tell if they got in for the right reasons based on their record of accomplishments. Sunday’s column cited Commissioners Ruthie Schlabach and Holly Davis, the prior having been the public face of the animal shelter which might start construction next year and who voted against all individual tax and fee increases and the latter who is the public face of strategic planning and a point person on ending generational poverty with an emphasis on its current effect on children. That’s undeniably using the position as a force of good rather than as a platform of personal gain.
But as candidates start to get into races, which is probably going to happen sooner than later especially if President Trump does make his announcement today, check their proverbial wrist. Are they running for the Rolex or would they be just as comfortable in a Timex?
Getting to topic 2 but first,
We just crossed 300 downloads of our mobile app. This may not sound like a lot but getting people to search for a platform then add it to their phone requires major involvement and 300 people have happily done so. Thank you to you if you are one of them, maybe you’re listening on the app right now. If you haven’t, please take a moment and type in Citrus County Concurrent in your phone’s app store to join the over 300 others in staying in the know on the go.
Okay let’s shift to this. I don’t want to respond to any of the Chronicle commentary directly, Executive Editor Jeff Bryan’s piece was light hearted using “never in a million years” to set up several observations about election season, and while I rolled my eyes a little bit about Cortney Stewart’s self-congratulatory opening for calling that one of only a handful of incredibly busy intersections in the heart of the county would be ripe for development, she wrote a fine piece about not fearing growth. The editorial was more of a press release and that’s all fine. Good work all Chronicle writers.
Here’s what interests me the most. If you’re not reading in print or on the e-edition but rather directly from what the website links to, then you’re really not seeing the radical changes that have been introduced into the commentary and opinion section. Take Sunday for example. It was four pages, one of which was commentary from local writers including those mentioned above and others like Supervisor of Elections Mo Baird, one was the editorial and letters to the editor, the third was three-quarters ads and the sound off, but the fourth and final page was what in journalism we call wire pieces. These are subscription services that you pay for that allow you to syndicate national voices. The Chronicle ran three wire commentary piece and all three were from conservative outlets. All three! They had Ben Shapiro from the Daily Wire who they’ve been printing weekly, a piece from controversial figure Oliver North and lastly a contributor to Newsweek who is also a researcher at the conservative think tank the Edmund Burke Foundation.
Some of these guys, I don’t know, they even go a little far right for me. Ben Shapiro is fine, I don’t follow the Daily Wire but I’ve read a couple of his books, he’s a little too partisan for my personal taste but he’s got a great head on his shoulders. But Ollie North!? I mean, ay yay yay, the Chronicle has been telling you, but this past Sunday especially, that we are respectful of voices from the right. All of them. In fact, they usually include a left-leaning political cartoon presumably to have humor diffuse what the audience might disagree with but even that wasn’t present this week.
Look, I’ve been on this for a while but all you are out there still saying the Chronicle is nothing but a liberal rag and that’s simply not true. Does the Chronicle practice community journalism and does this lead them to be at times unfairly critical of people they don’t like who also happen to be conservatives - yes. But sometimes, again not always, but sometimes it’s also because those people deserve criticism or because the Chronicle is just reporting the news.
The Chronicle is biased, but toward their idea of community, not toward any political ideology. Sunday’s overwhelmingly conservative commentary edition is all the evidence you need of that.
SIGN OFF - That’s all from the Bobby Winsler Show. Follow the Concurrent on social media for the latest updates and we’ll be back next Tuesday at noon.
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This is the Bobby Winsler Show available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and on the Concurrent website. See you next week.