‘And for those listeners in Port St. Lucie…’

Listeners to the Rush Limbaugh Show are familiar with the name Port St. Lucie  because it has replaced Rio Linda (a downscale suburb of Sacramento) as his chosen location where slow or stupid people might need explanation of basic facts that ordinary dittoheads already know. When Rush moved to Palm Beach he chose the town for regular mockery.

Naturally, this raised all sort of questions in my mind about the place.  The expression “Florida man…” is already a bit of a joke because of all the stories of bizarre human behavior that come out of the Sunshine State. “Florida man kills and eats pet dog” is the sort of story I have in mind. (I made that up as an illustration; no animals were harmed in the creation of this fake news.)

This reputation for housing the wackiest people in the country is completely unfair. Because of its strong sunshine laws, Florida police reports are available to the media, who are free to cite whatever craziness the local constabulary deals with and bring it to wide public notice in stories that begin with “Florida man…” (and comparatively rarely “Florida woman…).

So I wanted to see what Port St. Lucie looked like. Such is my devotion to duty that I was willing to travel to Florida in February to check it out.

It turns out Port St. Lucie is a mammoth (117 square miles) community, with an estimated 179,000 people in it. Much of the city was built as a planned community, starting in the mid 1950s, when General Development Corporation purchased huge tracts of land and began building homes and stores and other facilities. Through its efforts, the Florida Legislature allowed incorporation of the city, including GDC’s tracts..  As far as I could see, most of the homes from this era were priced to sell to retirees and families at very reasonable prices. Beverly Hills it was not, but neither was it a slum. It was in fact the American Dream, Florida version, I suspect, for most who moved there.

Later on, in the 1980s, another big developer, Core Communities, began developing what became Port St. Lucie West, which appeared to my eyes to be somewhat more upscale. The most famous element of its communities, a development called Tradition (and we conservatives love tradition) featured a shipping center called Tradition Square, modeled after a 1950s main street, something sort of out of Back to the Future. Here is a picture I took.

But my absolutely favorite aspect of Tradition, FL is the research park oxymoronically called the “Tradition Center for Innovation.” It actually hosts a number of ighlh reputed research organizations:

TCI’s anchor institutions—including the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute Florida, Mann Research Center and Martin Memorial Health Systems—actively map out new ways to make research easier and help members advance discoveries through the pipeline to commercialization.  At TCI, we accelerate life sciences.

So I really have to wonder if El Rushbo might not want to drop his disparagement.  Not only is PSL a perfectly fine place to live, we conservatives don't believe that wisdom is limited to upscale communities. If he wants to find a group that has limited information at its fingertips, I suggest he substitute “New York Times readers” for “those listeners in Port St. Lucie.”