I keep trying to get my brain around this. Why does anybody think it’s a good idea?
A Coral Gables billionaire wants to hoist a 500-pound American flag atop a massive, 40-story flagpole over downtown Miami.
[Mike] Fernandez, a major donor to Republican candidates and the former chief fundraiser for Gov. Rick Scott, has been mulling a way to pay homage to the United States for years. He came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1964 as a penniless child and made his fortune in healthcare.
“I started to chat with my wife and I said it would be a wonderful idea as a sign of gratitude for many of us who weren’t born in this country to do it in Miami,” said Fernandez. — Miami Hurled
Can you say “meaningless gesture?” How about “shallow ostentation?”
This comes out the same week as Pamela Drukerman’s NY Times column that pissed off all the local Miam-uh clan — the one that noted how shallow, ostentatious, vapid, plastic, and classless Miami was and still is (although less so almost maybe). Ooh, snap, truth stings.
At least it’s an American flag, not a picture of the donor himself or a gigantic $100 bill. Or anything by Brito. Still, why would anybody associate this tasteless monstrosity as a sign of gratitude?
I suppose it makes sense to the same empty suits who confuse wearing a plastic American flag lapel pin on their pajamas with patriotism. Seems like ‘Pubs are especially susceptible to this strain of shallow thinking. Remember their official response to terrorism? “Freedom Fries”?
Now if I were a real journalist, I’d dig a little into Fernandez’s past to see how many backbones he snapped and lives he ruined to achieve financial success. Just for fun, you know. He made it on health care — big Medicaid contracts. Sounds above board and clean, innit? Ask Governor Dickwithears.
But I’d also like to know what percentage of his fortune he uses to support charitable endeavor, and which ones he favors. I know he gave $1 Million to Alonzo Mourning’s Foundation, and has generously supported PAMM. I wonder if he has supported organizations established to assist people like himself who didn’t do as well — immigrants from repressive countries who arrive in the US penniless, and could use some help adjusting and getting established. There’s several thousand in shelters along the Mexico border right now, in fact. Lots of little kids among them.. And every day the paperboy brings more.
Perhaps he has — good. That would be a far more meaningful act than displaying a giant erection downtown. Just about anything would.
Wise up, Miami, and reject this stunt.