Abdul would have had a better chance at winning if Hillary were in office. Bernie won in Michigan because people were disappointed with the Obama presidency. At the time, they wanted to push the country to the left. With Trump in office, people simply want to get him out of office and bring back sanity. While single payer and campaign finance reform still poll very well, people are more interested in those who would stop Trump. People are not willing to take risks. This is a well-known historical trend. The further to the right the government is, the further to the right the entire spectrum shifts. The fact that we have managed to shift the policies of the Democrats to the left is a testament to our work.
The political revolution is not happening now. The political revolution takes place when the silent majority takes to the streets and line up at the polling stations. In spite of the huge turnout few weeks ago, the majority of voters stayed home. We as progressives need to position ourselves to be at the forefront when the people decide to participate in revolutionary numbers. That’s what we did during the primary season. We need to do that again in the general. We need to position ourselves to help execute the people’s will and get rid of Trump. We need to prove that we can fight that fight. We need to make sure that the power shifts left. We need to create an environment where people would vote for Abdul without fear. With Gretchen Whitmer in office, we raise the ceiling of expectations again. With Gretchen in office, we don’t have to defend Medicaid or wonder when Citizens United is going to receive its next shot of steroids.
Hitler was evil, he killed 6 million Jewish people. Churchill was evil as well, he caused the Bengal famine that killed 4 million Bengalis. However, Hitler founded an ideology and a following to perpetuate his crimes. Churchill hid behind liberal values. During the war, the liberal world lined up in Churchill’s camp while the fascists and Nazis lined up behind Hitler. Imagine what the Jewish people would have thought about those who made a false equivalency between the two camps. While Schutte is not Hitler and Whitmer is not anything like Churchill, the consequences of drawing the false equivalency between the two is the difference between life and death for many of us.
Whitmer is neither Churchill nor Hillary Clinton. Whitmer’s record and platform is much further left of Clinton’s. Just compare Whitmer’s platform to Granholm’s. We moved the entire spectrum leftwards. Whitmer’s platform is the result of many years of progressives’ work. How can we watch Schuette’s platform win and Whitmer’s platform lose? That would be self defeating. We can’t afford to sit this one out.
We need to defeat Republicans because they allowed Trump to govern. We need to defeat Republicans because they scared our voters into voting “safely.” We need to defeat Republicans to prove to the people that we can fight for their legitimate concerns. We need to defeat Republicans to create a more favorable environment for progressive demands. We need to defeat Republicans because it is the moral thing to do. We need Gretchen Whitmer to win because she will be the most progressive governor in the history of the state of Michigan.
Progressive Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party
(The post represents the author and not the entire caucus or its executive committee)