The last time they held the political conventions in Florida was 1972. It was the summer that I turned 13 years old, and I was falling in love for the first time.
With politics, that is.
Forty years ago, Miami Beach — a half-day’s swamp drive across the sweltering Sunshine State from the hockey-rink home of the 2012 Republican convention — was the pulsating heart of U.S. politics. Terrified by the violence and unrest of the 1968 Democratic confab in Chicago, both parties saw the beachside city, with its gated, spread-out rococo resorts, hippie-friendly police chief and distance from the hubs of campus protest, as the last safe place in America. Continue reading