Florida’s automatic recounts are coming to an end with Republican candidates claiming victory — again.
It appears as though the Democrats’ highly-anticipated blue wave turned into a mere drop of water in Florida.
However, conservatives need to rejoice now, because the era of a red Florida can easily dissolve over the next four years.
Even more than rejoicing, Republicans need to rebrand.
We are currently in perhaps the most polarizing era of American politics. Polarization is a detriment to the global American image and to our national way of life. Being indoctrinated to believe that those who you disagree with are the enemy is a form of totalitarian groupthink at its finest.
Republicans need to rebuke this before it gets even more out of hand.
Especially now, that Democrats hold of the majority of Congress, Republicans need to extend an olive branch across the aisle. Conservatives must be passionate about working with their liberal peers to create legislative actions that benefit all Americans.
Another image change necessary for Republicans to continue to be successful in Florida comes down to the embracement of a simple plant.
According to the Pew Research Center, 62 percent of Americans support the recreational use of marijuana. Of Democrats, 69 percent support recreational use. Similarly, 68 percent of Independents say they support the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Adversely, according to the same poll, only 45 percent of Republicans support recreational use.
If right-leaning Florida legislators hope to gain traction come 2020, it is time they realize what century they are in and put their fears of marijuana use aside.
Finally, the state of Florida just voted to restore voting rights to more than one million non-violent felons.
Last week, President Donald Trump said he is in support of and will help lead a bipartisan effort toward reforming the American prison system.
“Today, I am thrilled to announce my support for this bipartisan bill that will make our communities safer and give former inmates a second chance at life after they have served their time,” Trump said last week.
He also vowed to consider ex-cons for employment in the White House moving forward.
Trump is, in this case, leading by example. This is exactly the track that conservatives, especially in Florida, need to take.
It was made clear that the majority of Floridians view our justice system to be flawed.
Instead of working against reformations, Republicans need to fall in line behind Trump to not only rebuild the justice system but rebuild their image as well.
Jesse Stokes is a junior majoring in political science.