We have all been licking our wounds for this past week, but the time has come for serious introspection about where we are going to take the Michigan GOP in the years to come. We cannot afford another electoral disaster in 2020 because that could easily surrender the Presidency back to the radical left whether it’s Hillary, Pocahontas, Biden, Kamala or whoever else taking the reigns.
While we were fortunate to keep the Michigan House and Senate, last week’s election was especially catastrophic because of the passage of the proposals. In particular, Proposals 2 and 3 will allow Democratic control over the entirety of our state government. By surrendering control over redistricting to an “independent” commission (please note that Bernie Sanders and the ACLU are technically “independents”) and making it easier for felons and morons to cast votes, the writing is on the wall for what Michigan will become in the upcoming decades. We all hope that the Republicans have lawyers working overtime on challenges to these amendments, otherwise Michigan will pretty much inevitably become California at some point.
Let’s not beat around the bush. Last week’s nightmare happened because of the top of the ticket. Bill Schuette felt he was entitled to this position, and it showed on the campaign trail. Because Schuette did such a lousy job during his run for Governor, we have literal Soros activists serving as Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State now. We have an LGBT Attorney General who will use her power to punish Christian conservatives and obstruct the President’s agenda. We may ultimately lose the state for good, and the blood is on Schuette’s hands for all of this.
Schuette is a career politician’s career politician. He has been trying to get his hands on a serious position of national power for 30 years. He appointed infamous tax-hiking RINO, Lisa Lyons as his Lieutenant Governor candidate after the power was taken out of the hands of grassroots Republican delegates. Schuette never answered a question in a manner that made him seem like an actual human being on the campaign trail. Whereas Gretchen Whitmer’s ‘fix the damn roads’ faux-populism may have been nauseating, it was still far better than anything Bill had to offer. Giving the voters nothing to capture their imagination, Schuette was rejected and lost soundly in what should have come as a shock to no one.
Although Trump did endorse Schuette after he jumped on the Trump train at the precise moment when it would aid his ambitions (Schuette was initially a Jeb! supporter), the fact that Trump stayed out of Michigan while campaigning relentlessly for Republican victory throughout October spoke volumes. Trump didn’t want the stink of Schuette’s failure to rub off onto him, and who can blame him? This election wasn’t necessarily about Trump, as he was not on the top of the ticket. We needed a strong Republican leader to keep Trump’s constituents engaged, but instead, we received Snyder’s right-hand man who did nothing to prevent the Flint water crisis, attacked small farmers to protect his special interest masters from market competition, and spit in the face of grassroots conservatives in a way that seemed deliberate. It is not difficult to understand why the MIGOP fell on Nov. 6.
The entire party more or less fell in line with Schuette as well, echoing his terrible policy ideas from the GOP establishment. Even I kept my big mouth shut to help down-ticket Republicans who were ultimately doomed because of Schuette, but there were plenty of obvious blunders made by the Party. At the top of the list was dogged, unanimous opposition to Proposition 1. The fact that Republicans were out campaigning on behalf of marijuana prohibition, which is not only a constitutional overreach but also diverts criminal justice resources away from prosecuting rapists and murderers, shows how out of touch the party is with the general public. Marijuana legalization generally polls with a stunning 60 to 70 percent of voters supporting the idea. All “evidence” of crime spikes in states like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada are based on the manipulation of statistics by well-paid lobbyists who usually get their cash from police unions or pharmaceutical companies who benefit from the entrenched status quo.
The “reefer madness” bogeyman is no longer taken seriously, particularly during an opiate crisis that is actually taking lives and causing societal decay that cannot be denied. In every place where marijuana has been legalized for medical or recreational purposes, opiate abuse has subsequently declined. This is why Big Pharma opposes any type of legalization wholesale – because fewer people would abuse oxycontin and other opiates with marijuana widely available as a safer competitor. Law enforcement generally supports prohibition because it gives them a great excuse to kick in doors, steal people’s stuff, and cash in bigly under the legal fiction of civil asset forfeiture.
It would have been easy for Schuette, if he was surrounded by competent advisors, to produce a populist plan that would have tackled the opiate crisis while reforming marijuana laws. As opposed to the tax-and-regulate scheme that will now go into place because of the very flawed Proposition 1, Schuette could have proposed a decriminalization plan protecting low-level users from excessive penalties while keeping punishments in place for major drug dealers. This, while protecting the medical marijuana industry, would have been the best possible solution for reforming marijuana policy. Coupled with increased enforcement and penalties for opiate pushers (including sanctions on the pharmaceutical companies themselves), this would have been a plan palatable to everyone from law-and-order conservatives to doped-out liberal potheads while undercutting the problematic Prop. 1 and keeping an excessive level of Democrats out of the polls.
But none of that ever happened. Schuette’s campaign instead relied on vague platitudes, with a “Paycheck Agenda” talking point that sounds like it was manufactured by the same PR team that came up with “Comeback State” and “One Tough Nerd.” Schuette’s pledge to do something about auto insurance or the roads fell short because the GOP failed to do anything about those key issues while lording over the entire state government for nearly a decade. Hearkening back to Granholm was alright, but the abysmal Snyder years are more fresh in the consciousness of the voters. While Snyder may have papered over the Michigan economy with billions in new dollars of annual spending, the Flint water crisis is perceived as being caused (or at least exacerbated) by the malfeasance of he and underlings such as Schuette. That far outweighed any of Granholm’s glaring economic miscues in the minds of the public.
Trump just fired Jeff Sessions, who is widely seen as Trump’s biggest mistake at Attorney General. That effectively shuts the door on the Republican Party pushing the drug war. Sessions focused on a marijuana crackdown and expansion of asset forfeiture instead of immigration enforcement and protecting Trump from the Russian witch hunt. That type of leadership is unacceptable. Trump and Senate Republicans are considering the re-classification of marijuana at the federal level and enacting basic criminal justice reform as well. State GOPs need to take the hint if they want to improve the party’s chances at success moving forward. Being the anti-marijuana party chases off prospective young Republican voters while energizing the Democratic base. Trump has clearly identified the issue as a big fat loser, thus the forced resignation of the feckless Sessions, and we would be wise to follow in his footsteps in that regard and many others.
We have to organize quickly to reform the state GOP though because of the counter-strike being waged. Establishment interests are quibbling behind the scenes at this very moment blaming this loss on Trump and his rabble. They will attempt to use this defeat as a way to re-group and take us back to the “good ol’ days” when the country club ruled the roost and constituents followed orders. They are assuredly preparing the rules that will be used to game the system further on behalf of their total control. Divorced from reality, they will wage war on party unity heading into 2020 even if it means sabotaging Trump. We have to be proactive and use this opportunity to elect a competent leadership team that will shift the party away from corruption. There will never be a better time to do it, particularly in this state where Trump’s movement is legion. There are Trump supporters out there chomping at the bit, ready to be activated and brought into this fight. We have to find them, show them the ropes, and sick them on the bad guys.
Rumor has it that Tom Leonard may be running for MIGOP Chair next year. He has run the House in a fair manner while serving as Speaker, and would probably be the best we could do realistically at that position. He would certainly be much better than Moneyman Ron Weiser or Democratic donor and shameless cronyist Bobby Schostak. But it’s not going to be one man who gets the job done. It is going to take upheaval at all levels of government. As painful as the fight may be, we have to redouble our efforts. The fight is only just beginning, after all. The Left is kicking their operations into high gear, and we cannot grow complacent during this crucial period. We may have lost a battle last week, but the war is far from over.
We need to take over the Republican Party county by county through the executive committee. If you have already taken power, strengthen your majority. Start making those calls to delegates to make sure they show up when it comes time to elect new county GOP leadership in the upcoming weeks. We will also need local officials and city councilmen to serve as whistle-blowers in case of an electoral steal attempt by the Democrats in 2020. Many of those local races will be decided next year. Find fellow conservatives and Trump supporters in your area, and grow them as your natural base. All of our people need to be embedded in positions of power moving forward.
Those of us who have been around throughout the Tea Party era should know about the importance of striking when the iron is hot. When you allow momentum to lapse, your entire movement can fall apart before your eyes. This is what happened to the liberty movement very tragically in recent years. I don’t want to see it happen to Trump and his revolution. His movement has already accomplished more than I could have imagined, but we have so much further to go still to restore American greatness. We may never have an opportunity to reshape politics like this ever again. This may be our last chance to save the Republic. Let’s not rest on our laurels and allow the swamp to regain lost ground. Get in the fight, and get in it NOW! And may we never put forth a candidate as weak as Bill Schuette ever again!