Politics, Passion and Pain

How Partisanship, Pundits and Pathologies Tore my Family Apart

You know what? I don’t even know where to begin. In fact, I can barely see the screen before me through swollen, bleary, tear-soaked eyes. When I think about my 38 year marriage to one man and the blessing of two healthy. adult, married children and the fact that none of them are speaking to me, it cuts me like a knife.

Some would say it started the day Donald Trump came down that escalator to announce his candidacy for President. I know it started long before that. My husband and I knew we were of opposite parties when we married. He, a conservative Republican, and me a left of center Democrat. We actually agreed on most things, except for maybe some fiscal issues. I remember when our family joke started. We went to vote at the fire station in 1984. I went ahead of him and he called out to me, “Don’t forget to vote the way I told ya, honey.” We’ve  joked about it during every Presidential election since. Except this year. More on that later.

He told me enjoyed politics and sports. For years, we watched college football and the Dolphins together. He would watch a lot of “talking heads” while I raised the kids, kept the house and enjoyed the arts. I played guitar and piano, did arts and crafts, and spent a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen. Nobody seemed to mind that.

Ours was never a smooth marriage. We went through a lot of things. We had medical issues and monetary issues. We had disagreements on a lot of things. There was never any infidelity that I was aware of, but there was indiscretion and dishonesty on his part in other very hurtful ways.

When our kids left home for college and launched into adulthood, it left us with a lot of time on our hands. We had to rediscover each other. We tried hard to find common ground. We watched sports together, we played sports together. We tried travel. We tried all kinds of things we could do together, but nothing seemed to draw us back in tune. Since I knew he liked politics, I started paying attention. I noticed that he had a deep disdain for Barack Obama, which I did not understand. He would roll his eyes and grunt every time the President was on television. I didn’t understand some of his reasoning. None of what he was saying was even evident to me.

Then came Donald Trump, a man for whom I had no respect to begin with. I started paying attention. I also started reading and watching more news. I began watching with him, on Fox News, but couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Then I found MSNBC. This was a station that made no accusations without documentation and whenever I had doubt, I researched.

As each week passed, my husband became more and more contentious with our “discussions” that even the dog would leave the room, until the day when he said to me, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” What I heard was, “You’re stupid.” The fireworks began. Every time I asked him a question about Donald Trump, he couldn’t answer, and responded with an attack on Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. It dawned on me that he was doing this because that’s all he was hearing on Fox News, or from Ruch Limbaugh, Mark Levin and all the other Right Wing Pundits.

I tried as hard as I could to help him see that he was not getting all the news, or only one side. He was being fed misinformation or partial information upon which he was forming his opinions. He was believing conspiracy theories that had no basis in truth and he was growing more and more angry. It got to the point where everything I said about ANY topic became a point of contention. We found ourselves arguing over whether the sky was blue or not, and he always had to have the snarky last word.

When I had a concrete example for him that even he agreed was wrong, I thought I was making progress. The fact that the ONLY network or TV station is the country that did NOT cover the March for our Lives in its entirety, that did NOT show the speeches or the mass of people, the protest  signs but only the COUNTER protests was the purest example of a one sided view of the world. Donald Trump, the NRA and the far right didn’t want its minions to see it or hear the truth. Their mantra was that the Democrats want to take away their guns and showing that event would have taken away from their disinformation campaign.

I began watching Senate and House hearings, reading reports and articles and learning as much as I could. More than any GOP Senator did, I read the entire Mueller report. I DO know what I’m talking about. I am probably as if not more informed as any reporter or participant in Washington. FOX NEWS, RUSH LIMBAUGH, TOM FITTON, MARK LEVIN, DAN BONGINO…. They are all guilty of pushing conspiracy theories and molly-coddling a lying, cheating, grifting man who is posing as President to milk the government for all he can while doing the work for Putin. (latest is destroying US participation in surveillance pact and the planes to do it).

What you may not know about me is that I am marshmallow. I hate to be around people who are not happy. I spent my whole life becoming a chameleon, trying to fit in at all costs, not rocking the boat. What did that do for me? It cost me own identity. I repressed my own demons and my own feelings, and began to drink them away. I became an active alcoholic. Today, after 15 years of sober living, I:ve never wanted to drink more !

Like cats and dogs we fought. Last year, during one particular painful fight, I told my husband I can’t live with him anymore. He pushed and pushed, and finally told me that I had to be the one to call the kids and tell them we were getting divorced. I was gasping with tears and choking on phlegm. ”I dare you,” he said.  I was so emotional, so angry, and so out of control that I actually did it. My logical mind knew it was wrong, but I was too far gone emotionally to be able to control myself. It was a grave error because it changed my life forever.

My daughter’s reaction was typical. She said, “Okay mom, just keep me out of it.”

My son hung up on me. He has barely spoken to me since.

In the past year, we have all been navigating through a world pandemic which has been poorly managed at the national level due to partisan politics, and a crashed economy, that our President thinks is making a V-shaped recovery because of the stock market. More than half the people I know are out of work, have run out of unemployment assistance, some have been evicted, some have been dipping into retirement savings, some have used up all of their savings.  I know many who have, for the first time in the lives, spend hours waiting in FOOD LINES. No, Mr. President, you did not manage a booming recovery.

My 89 year old mother, who lives with us, was diagnosed with lung cancer and emphysema, and began treatment in January. On top of that, I was diagnosed with advanced degenerative disc disease, stenosis and psoriatic arthritis of the spine. In January and February, I chauffeured my mother to chemo and radiation treatments, scans and check-ups. All the while, at home, administering breathing treatments and cooking anything and everything I could to tempt her dwindling appetite. Thank God she beat the cancer. Today the biggest challenge is keeping up her spirits and her oxygen. While my husband has been good to her, the same cannot be said for how he treated me. There were days when I could barely walk. Those were the days he would leave me to walk the dog.

It wasn’t until October that I finally gave up trying to save him from going any further down the false media rabbit hole. I told him I gave up. He can believe what he wants, think what he wants, do what he wants. I don’t care anymore. But he can’t do it with me. The only problem as I see it is if we divorce, we will both end up paupers.

The very last straw was two weeks ago. I was trying to make my way back to the bathroom, the night before I was scheduled to go in for an epidural. I overheard him on the phone talking about the John Durham Report. I stopped in my tracks. My personal theory is that Durham hasn’t found anything yet that feeds Trumps narrative, so they didn’t want to come out before the election with a nothing burger so as not to embarrass him. Then I heard my husband say, “No, I can talk, she’s on the other side of the house.” That made me want to hear more…

My husband proceeded to talk to whomever  about the fight we had the night prior, when he told me, when asked, that yes, he thinks that Joe Biden is corrupt. That whole idea makes me laugh… he thinks Biden is corrupt, yet he will vote for Trump.

I walked into the bedroom and asked him, “Who are you talking to?”

He said “Your son.”

I grabbed the phone and angrily affirmed, “Do not allow your father to talk to you about me or my politics or anything we might fight about.”

My son said, “I’m not.”

My husband has now turned my son into a liar.

Further, a few days later, after my husband had voted, I asked him if he had voted the way I told him to, you remember, the family joke, he got testy… he forgot the joke… and he snapped at me and said, “NO!”

I confirmed with him. “So. You voted for Trump?”

“I did.”

“Okay.” I said, and hung up.

My husband also shared that story with both of my children.

Fast forward to today, the day before Thanksgiving. Not only are none of my family members coming home for the holiday (likely due to the Pandemic, or we’re using that as a convenient excuse), but I haven’t heard their voices in over two weeks. My daughter has blocked me on Facebook and my son is ignoring texts.

The last time I saw either one was in January. The last time I spoke to my son, we had a disagreement about a point he was making. (I guess I’m not permitted to disagree).  My husband, knowingly or unknowingly has been driving nails in the coffin of my relationship with them even though the two of us have made some strides.

We watched the documentary, “The Brainwashing of my Father”  a study in the rise of right wing media that goes as far back as when Richard Nixon hired Roger Ailes to help with his campaign in marketing. I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD HEAR THESE WORDS… my husband said he would give up all right wing media for 90 days to see if that would help. I am still in shock, and not sure I trust him to make that break cleanly….

So we are healing, little by little. I wasn’t in any hurry to throw away a 38 year marriage, so I was thrilled to see him put his marriage ahead of his politics. (He hadn’t been doing that for the past three years.) He had chosen Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, Mitch McConnell, William Barr, Rush Limbaugh… all of them, ahead of me. With this I was unable to cope. When I told him I had an attorney and papers were drawn up, I think he realized how serious I was.

In the end, all I have left is prayer and my dog, and the dog is old. I have one more thing. I have a glimmer of hope that a man with honesty, integrity and compassion will take over the helm of this country on January 20th at noon. I pray my family will heal too.

I CriedToday

Usually on the Fourth of July, my day includes a lot of rituals. I’ve always loved to celebrate the fact that I’m an American. The pride I’ve always had to live here in the strongest, greatest, safest country in the world, the gratitude I’ve always held for my freedom and the love for my country were things I’ve always held dear. On the Fourth, I would always wear red, white and blue, I would hang my grandmother’s military honors flag outside my house, we would barbeque and I would sit at my piano off and on all day, playing medleys of patriotic songs.

Not today. Today I cried. I mourned for the tens of thousands of Americans who needlessly lost their lives as the result of a poorly managed pandemic. I grieved for the Gold Star families who may well have been the victims of loss due to a traitorous Commander-In-Chief.  I weep for the loss of integrity of our diplomats and public service representatives who can no longer be trusted because our word is no longer dependable due to the misguided lack of leadership coming from the Oval Office.

Just when I thought things were getting better and there was hope that we were finally working toward the ideals of our founding fathers, someone came in and smashed it to pieces. Our citizens are more divided than they were before the civil war. The hate and derision are palpable, even in my own household.

When most of America had seen enough of the civil rights violations of African Americans, our President stirred the pot just enough to bring out enough white supremacists out in the open that they are pointing weapons of war at peaceful protestors. He has politicized the pandemic just enough that not wearing a mask to protect their friends and neighbors is a badge of honor and “pro-Trump.”  His ignorance of the science and desire to win an election will have killed likely another 50,000 Americans before we even vote.

The Grand Old Party, the “Party of Lincoln” no longer exist. Most of the Republican Senators and Representatives who are sitting right now are doing just that… sitting, and watching this president defile the office, defecate on the Constitution and destroy our reputation around the world.  He has gone as far as ignore a Russian bounty on the heads of our service men and women serving in Afghanistan, without standing up to Vladimir Putin.  The entire truth will come out. It always does, and they will ALL land on the wrong side.

So, in the year 2020, I will not celebrate our independence. We are held captive by a criminal, lying, traitorous fascist. If true Americans don’t do something to change that on November 3rd of this year, I hope they develop a taste for borscht.

I hate borscht, therefore, I cried today.

A Cancer

There is a cancer in our government. People have been talking about the cancer of partisanship for years… how our lawmakers can’t work together so nothing gets done. People say our country has become more and more fractured with each administration and it has been going on for years… that Americans haven’t been united since World War II. Perhaps, for a short while, we came together in unity and anger after 911, to support the families of the victims and the first responders. Maybe we all talked about anger toward the Taliban or Extremists.  For a while.

Today’s cancer has metastasized, affecting the very soul of our nation.  In my eight decades on this earth, I have never seen such hate and vitriol being expressed from Americans at Americans.  I used to think politics was a vehicle by which we determined our leaders, a flawed but workable system. In the last four years, I have watched, quite nervously, how it has metamorphosized into government itself. The four hundred bills sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk (the grim reaper, as he likes to be called) is a brilliant example of this.

Our current president does nothing without politics/elections in mind. And from my point of view, he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. When Donald Trump was first elected, I was not happy. I did not vote for him, for very personal reasons.

I wasn’t angry or scared, either. I cannot say the same today.  His mob mentality has turned our form of government into something I can neither recognize nor name.  Some people on the left refer to it as an autocracy, or even a monarchy. That was exactly the kind of government our forefathers left Europe and England to escape.  That was the genesis of the Constitution and everything in it… to ensure that we, as Americans, would not have to live under the tyranny of leadership that was single-minded and corrupt.

After observing what happened in the Special Counsel investigation and having read the entire subsequent report, I cannot understand why Mr. Trump is still governing.  The White House Counsel alone could provide just one impeachable act, that was so egregious, and so corrupt that even our fidget spinning, complicit GOP Senators would not be able to acquit.  But since the White House and AG Barr have successfully obstructed Congress, and because complicit Senators like Lindsey Graham who refused to even read the report, and Mitch McConnell who so deftly maneuvers his Senate, nobody heard Don McGann’s testimony.

Then came the President’s foibles with our international relations. How can Americans with any memory of history, and any sense of what’s going on in the real world, stomach Trump’s relationships with tyrants like Kim, Putin Erdogan and the like?  He has bashed NATO… this is an alliance that was created after WWII based on never allowing another despot like HITLER to rise to power again… by covering each other’s back in international relations.  Donald Trump puts a price tag on everything and doesn’t even know the history or purpose of NATO.  Yet he is trying to break up the Alliance…. The beneficiary????  Vladimir Putin.

Let’s talk about Ukraine. I don’t even need to go into details. All I need to say is this. Mitch McConnell led his FIDGET SPINNING GOP COMPLICIT Senators down a rabbit hole, convincing them all to acquit the President in his Impeachment trial, without witnesses or documents.  ONE senator had the guts to speak truth to power; many of the other admitted his guilt, but still voted to acquit.

The Cancer has killed our democratic republic. The one thing was had that made this country strong is gone. Instead, we have a cheating, lying fascist at the helm, who we now know, again, is cheating in the 2020 Presidential race.

For those who still support Donald Trump, I suggest you take a look in the mirror. Check your own morals and ethics.  If you are okay with cheating, vote for him. If you don’t care that he has lied to you all along about his money, his ties to Russia, and so much more, then vote for him. If the fact that his raping of 13-year-old with Jeffrey Epstein doesn’t bother you (remember that Jeffrey Epstein was murdered before he could face the charges), take a look at your own daughter or niece, and vote for Trump. If you believe that immigration is a bad thing, go visit the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island. Read the poem at the base. Realize that we are ALL immigrants except indigenous American Indians.  Then vote for Trump.  AND IF YOU THINK THE ECONOMY IS GOOD, ASK YOURSELF WHY PRESIDENT TRUMP NEVER TALKS ABOUT THE DEFICIT…. HE JUST BLEW IT UP OVER A TRILLION…. THE LARGEST EVER, AND HE HAS MORTGAGED YOUR FUTURE.  Ask him too, why he won’t show you charts from 2008?  He only shows you charts from his presidency and tells you HE DID it. Go the government website and find out the TRUTH, that the economic recovery started under OBAMA, and the last three years of Obama’s administration was better than the first three of Trumps in economic growth.

In a few years, the media that he has been bashing (much like Hitler and Goebbels did in the 1930’s) unfolds the truth, the whole truth to you, you may have some regrets.  But for now, keep on hating, and vote for Trump.

If you think that the Senators and Representatives who have blindly supported him are clean too, before you vote for them too, do a little research in places other than Fox News or on Alt Right resources. How Fox News is allowed to continue to foist propaganda and conspiracy theories, I don’t understand. Having studied journalism and mass communications, their blatant misuse of the airwaves is an abomination. Every time a real, honest journalist emerges, the President squawks and that journalist is fired.

Unfortunately, I am preaching to the choir, I am sure. I used to consider myself a centrist. My attitude about each issue was fully researched from every side and I made up my own mind. I found myself to fall on the liberal side socially, and on the conservative side fiscally… but this administration may well be the end of the GOP. They are far from conservative, fiscally.

This cancer has spread to my marriage, because I’m married to someone who believes all of the propaganda fed by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. This person who I thought I knew and loved has become so defensive, that even if I only want to know where we should go for dinner, I get snapped at. Like every other Trump Republican, if I challenge Trump, rather than hearing a defense, I get an attack on Obama or Hillary…. Usually half-baked conspiracy theories for which there is no evidence.

I trust that our Democracy will prevail, somehow. I gave my spouse an ultimatum about talking down to me about my politics.

Lastly, I am taking care of my mother who actually does have cancer. She’s 88.  She has lung cancer and emphysema. You know what? After all my ranting and raving about politics, I realize her well-being is the only thing I really care about.

I really do hate cancer. I love my mother and my country.

HIPAA Violation?

(A Satire, and Sad Commentary on Today’s Political Environment)

“Doctor, thank you for coming in. We are baffled.”

Dr. James Branch stood stoic, glancing up and down the patient’s chart. His eyes darted back and forth from the top to the bottom in disbelief.

“How is it that the wife is requesting admission to the psych ward now, after almost forty years of marriage when there hasn’t been a single incidence of physical abuse, no previous mental health admissions and no previous psychotic breaks.”  He paused and looked down at the sedated patient who had finally stopped his thrashing and was mumbling under his breath.

“Lock her up and Obama should be in jail too.”

“Has he been doing this all along?”

“Yes, Doctor. In fact, when he first came in, we thought he was just an overzealous Trump supporter, but it got a lot darker. He started channeling Sean Hannity, and then morphed into all of the members of Freedom Caucus. He whipped off his jacket and it was like he became Jim Jordan, attacking everything around him that was blue, even the emesis basin.”

“It sounds like a serious case of cognitive dissonance.”  The doctor flipped through some of the other pages of the chart. “Wait, this can’t be. It looks as if he used to be a nice person.”

“There’s more history of a personal nature that the wife couldn.t or wouldn’t include, which spoke to his moral compass which explains a lot, sir. Even though it’s a lengthy marriage, he betrayed many times… not with women, but with lies, so its natural that he identifies with some of these people.”

Suddenly, the patient sat up in bed and screamed. “The Deep State started that investigation illegally. They spied. The President is not guilty” He stopped screaming as suddenly as he started, gasped for a breath and fell back on his pillow.

“Geez, now he’s channeling Mark Levin and dare I say it Alex Jones.  Let me take a look at him.”  The doctor approached the bed carefully, and lifted the patient’s eyelids. His eyes were rolled back. He then forced his mouth open and noted on the chart that the patient’s tongue was ‘decidedly orange, possibly a result of consuming mass quantities of Kool-Aid.”

“I won’t be able to make a full diagnosis until he is awake and I can talk with him, but my initial assessment is that he is a member of the corrupt GOP and cannot defend the President, so he believes the Conspiracy Theories of the Alt Right, attacks the Democrats with not an ounce of proof and is so intent on being right, he puts party before everything, including his marriage. He has had a significant psychotic break, lost his moral compass completely and is suffering from multiple personality disorder as well.”

The doctor scribbled a few things down on the chart and handed it back to the nurse. “I’ve ordered continuation of mild sedation. If I miss her on rounds, please tell his wife she did the right thing by bringing him in. And, although nobody can do anything to change him, she doesn’t have to be his proverbial punching bag anymore. He will have to live with the fact that his beliefs landed him on the wrong side of honesty and integrity.  When his grandchildren ask him if he voted for Donald Trump once or even twice, he’ll have to tell them why.

Hold My Tongue

There was a time in my life when I was too shy, too reserved and too fearful to stand up for myself or to make decisions for myself. I was two. In fact, my parents were in such a hurry for me to walk and to talk, but as soon as I was able to do that, they pretty much told me to sit down and shut up.

All kidding aside, I was raised at a time when girls were expected to be sweet, happy and quiet, mostly quiet. I was so indecisive and fearful, that I really couldn’t stand up for myself. I wouldn’t even send food back at a restaurant when it wasn’t prepared as ordered.

When I was twenty-four, and single, my mother was afraid I would be an old maid, and she told me I shouldn’t be so smart or so good at sports… that the boys don’t like that.  I had a hard time with that.  It was the late 70’s and early 80’s, and mom was kind of old school. I knew if I repressed who I really was, I would pay for it later. (I was already repressing a lot of things that had already happened to me, that eventually affected me in profound ways.)

Finally, I met a man who appreciated me for who I was (was being the operative word). Early on, we had a great marriage and were blessed with two wonderful, happy healthy children. As time passed, and we were left with an empty nest, we were also left with the task of getting to know each other again. The difficulty arose when we discovered that we were at opposite ends politically in 2016.  It has gotten exponentially worse, affecting our daily lives.  I can’t express an opinion without it turning into a fight. I can’t even make a comment about current events without it being turned into a political issue. All we have left is, “Did you talk to either of the kids today.”

Consequently, I have had to return to being the kind of person I was as a child and young girl, and it is most uncomfortable. I am expected to be happy and quiet, mostly quiet. This is to keep the peace.  I know it won’t last forever; in fact, I hope it will only last for another 18 months.

For now, I will hold my tongue.

Had Enough Hate?

I, like many Americans, and sick of the vitriol and hate being espoused every where you look lately. In the news, on social media, and even in public places, whether it is a result of differences in political opinion, religion, race, sexual preference, country of origin, there has been a profound loss of humane interaction between people in general.

Personally, and I’m not ashamed to say this, I believe it is a direct result of the acceptance of the behavior of our President as normal. His campaign was fraught with foul language and accusations, name calling and rising contempt for the institution of government. Making fun of disabled people, reducing the office of the President of the United States to a child’s game of ‘can you top this ’with world leaders who actually are still children.

The rise in racism and anti-Semitism, the disdain for Muslims, and immigrants was making news every day. Videos on social media are going viral every day of people mistreating people. Beating up two men simply because they are gay; Destroying a house of worship because it is a mosque or a temple, and not a church; Screaming at a woman to go back to Asia because her facial features aren’t ‘white enough’; Police shooting an unarmed young black man because he ‘looked’ like the suspect in a nearby robbery.

We are living in very treacherous times, when our morals and values have already been challenged by a basic breakdown in the institutions of marriage, family and education. Our social norms are not what they were fifty years ago. Some of it is because of the expediency of information in the tech age.  Some if it is because our lives have become so fast and so complicated that our home lives are strained and we either don’t have time to or we’ve forgotten to teach our children manners and respect.

There is no censorship of what we say or see, due to our freedom of speech and expression, so white nationalists can protest. So can LBGTQ, Black Lives Matters, March for Our Lives, or anyone else that wants to make a statement. However, nobody has a right to stop someone from a peaceful protest.

For anyone who has a question as to American immigration policy, who belongs here or who doesn’t, our Constitutional Rights or any other question that has been contentious and has given rise the palpable hate and disdain for each other we seem to have as fellow Americans, let’s stop for a moment and take a brief look at our history.

The Declaration of Independence, when our country began, ended with these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (implied ALL PEOPLE) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” the key points being:

  • All men are created equal.
  • All men have basic human rights given to them by God.
  • The only reason to have a government is to protect these basic human rights, which Jefferson lists as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
  • Government must be by the consent of the governed.

The Constitution begins this way: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

While the first 10 amendments constituted the Bill of Rights, I’ll only mention the first amendment, so I don’t start a gunfight. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

Please indulge me for one more historical reference to make my ultimate point. The 16th President of our country made a speech on a Civil War Battlefield which some may have had to learn about in school. Not sure the curriculum even bothers anymore because they must teach to testing or run mass shooter drills.

The Gettysburg address opened this way: “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

And closed this way “…increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

I suggest here that we start to remember the values of our forefathers and start treating each other with some love and respect. STOP acting on fear and hate. Besides, the only people who have the absolute right to this land is the American Indian, and if you ask me, we need to pay them back a hell of a lot.

I was always taught that we were put on this earth to make it a better place, not a hateful one. If you don’t agree with me, then I suggest you spit in a cup and send it away to get a report on your own ancestry.  When you get the report. Pick a country. You can all go back to where you came from… including the white nationalists who want to make America white again.

J T Fisher, Author

Miami, FL