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  • Fred Smith

Florida's Amendment 1 is a Microcosm for the 2016 Presidential Election

One side was methodical. The other was passionate. The passionate side convinced voters they were being trounced by an establishment that didn’t have an ounce of care for their plight. That side won, not because their ideas were original or even sound. In truth, their arguments were erroneous at nearly all turns, yet managed to spin emotion in their favor by tapping into the prejudices and fears of its base. The other side believed in the polls, and was convinced they would win—right up until the votes were tallied and they didn’t. The losing side lost because they did a deplorable job of reaching out to the people they serve, whose votes would determine the future. They did nothing to educate the masses on why the opposition’s platform was short-sighted and potentially harmful to cause they championed. The losing side was silent when the populace was confused. Mute when trust hung in the balance. They remained silent when attacked and showed not an inkling of transparency. Their only strategy was a calculated and lifeless advertising campaign—weighted in cliche and (except for its controversy) otherwise forgettable. One side deserved to win, even though history may very well prove they’ve been wrong about the fundamentals all along. The other has to regroup, soul search, and decide how they can help the people realize the future they desire. It may sound like I’m talking about the 2016 presidential election, but I’m referring to Florida’s Amendment 1. Regardless, if you voted for the winner without conducting diligent research, there is a good chance you were swayed by a side whose fervent rhetoric sounds like they have your best interests at heart. In reality, they may be the wolf in sheep’s clothing you were so passionately warned about.


Fred Smith is a Florida resident and customer of the Tampa Electric Company (TECO). For the last two years he has studied solar energy's growth in the US and has consulted with experts around the country about the issues presented in Florida's Amendment 1. In October 2016, he published an article that aimed to inform voters about the fundamental issues Amendment 1 sought to resolve. None of the news publications Fred approached published his article. You can read it HERE.

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