Eclectablog, while often focusing on national issues, has a Michigan-centric component as regular readers know. That’s largely because we are the testing ground, the beta testers for what Republicans want to achieve nationally.
Republicans here control the governor’s office. Our Lt. Governor is a Republican. Our Secretary of State is a Republican. Our Attorney General is a Republican. Our state House is Republican-controlled. Our state Senate is Republican-controlled. Even our state Supreme Court is Republican-controlled.
In other words, our blue-leaning state presaged the rise and successful election of Donald Trump as our country’s president, a man who will enjoy a Republican-controlled Congress and a Republican-controlled Senate and may well preside over the creation of a Republican-controlled Supreme Court of the United States.
Like Donald Trump, Michigan’s Governor is a businessman with no previous experience in government and who surrounds himself with like-minded operatives who believe that “government should be run like a business”. I’d like to present you with Exhibit A as to why that is a horrifically terrible idea, today’s Flint Water Crisis Watch report for November 10, 2016:
I don’t just blog about Michigan because I live here. I blog about Michigan because it’s all too often a bellwether for what happens nationally. So, pay attention to the fact that Republicans here have turned the birthplace of the modern labor movement into a right to work state.
Pay attention to the fact that Republicans here have decimated public education and made for-profit charter schools that enrich corporations the model for educating our children.
Pay attention to the fact that Republicans gave corporations a huge tax cut paid for by slashing funding for education and by raising taxes on over half of Michiganders, including retired senior citizens.
Pay attention to the fact that they have outsourced every state service possible to for-profit enterprises. Prison services, road building, government services of all types – all of these are now a way to siphon tax dollars into the bank accounts of for-profit corporations.
Pay attention to the fact that corporate influences have infiltrated every aspect of our government.
Pay attention to the fact that a single massively wealthy family has a tight rein on our state legislature and can get them to do their bidding by simply writing checks at the right time.
Michigan has been gerrymandered so effectively that Democrats get more votes and gain less seats with every election cycle both in the state legislature and in Congress. Pay attention to that, too.
We have at least four years now where our efforts to fight back against Republican corporatist efforts to roll back all the progressive gains we’ve made over the past several decades must be redoubled and fortified. As you work on the issues that inspire your activism, be sure you’re checking in with your counterparts in Michigan to see what they have seen work and what has failed. Learn from them as you battle the forces of conservatism, bigotry, and self-interest in order to make the USA a more perfect union.
I’m fond of saying, “When you win battles in the political realm, you have never fully won forever. But, by the same token, when you lose, you haven’t lost forever either.” Hold onto that thought as you work over the next four years to hold the line against regressive Republican laws and policies. And never, ever, EVER give up. That’s what our opponents are counting on and we must never let them succeed.
And I will promise you this: If they don’t already, Republicans in Michigan and across the state will know about Eclectablog starting NOW.
[Graphic by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog.]