I’m often asked why we focus on Michigan so much at Eclectablog. The easy answer, of course, is that all of us live here and care about our state deeply. The less obvious answer is that Michigan has become the beta testing ground for some of the most egregious Republican overreach you’ll find in the USA. In our statewide elections, with the recent exception of Rick Snyder and Donald Trump, we vote almost exclusively for Democrats showing that we are, in truth, a “blue” state. Since 1959 we have had only two Republican Senators and one of them served only one term. Yet, despite our high percentage of Democrats, we are massively under-represented by Democrats in Congress and in our state legislature. This shows just how deeply we’ve been gerrymandered.
It’s not just the gerrymandering. In 2012, Republicans used their majority status to turn the birthplace of the modern organized labor movement into a right to work state, an accomplishment that billionaire corporatist Dick DeVos once described as “the most fun” thing he had accomplished. The year before that, Republicans passed Michigan’s odious Emergency Manager law that stripped local democracy from schools and municipalities and paved the way for outrages like the Flint Water Crisis and the collapse of the Detroit Public School system (including the truly heartbreaking conditions of the schools themselves.) That model is now being used in other states having first been tested in Michigan.
So, Michigan is an important bellwether and it’s important that the whole country pay attention to what happens here. We may often look like a “state blog” but, in truth, Eclectablog is a national blog sending up a warning flare about what’s coming down the pike from our beautiful state.
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