Published in the Holland Sentinel on January 21, 2008 -
If there are any legislators or executives in Lansing patting themselves on the back for bumping Michigan's presidential primary up to Jan. 15, they should simply resign their office, effective immediately.
Our elected officials in Lansing went out of their way to violate national party rules and in effect, stole the voice of every Michigander who wanted to vote for a Democratic candidate. They also stole one-half of the voice of every Michigan resident who voted for a Republican in this year's presidential primary. They have effectively contaminated the entire election process and for what, 15 minutes of fame in the national news? Give me a break.
First off, anyone following the national news since Michigan's vain decision to go against the Republican and the Democratic national committees knows that Michigan did not get the coverage our so-called leaders had hoped to receive. In fact, the bulk of the hype was still on Iowa and New Hampshire, leading up to their respective contests, and on the rare occasions Michigan was mentioned, it was usually in a bad light.
Secondly, the national media have moved on to other states, where they will stay until after the national conventions take place this summer.
In the meantime, Michigan is still stuck in the same rut we were in before our one week of "glory." We continue to set national standards in unemployment, job losses, foreclosures and, of course, resident departures. If things don't start getting better real soon, Michigan is going to lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2010 census is complete. Then we will get to enjoy the agony of redistricting the entire state.
While there are some who would argue that Michigan's economic plight being brought to the forefront of the presidential race was a good thing, I would ask you to consider the cost. Whether they voted or not, the state's Democrats have been robbed of their right to have their votes count in this year's presidential primary election. Meanwhile, the Republican voters lost half of their delegates. Can you imagine what kind of national news coverage Michigan is going to get if after all the states have voted, Mitt Romney comes up 30 votes short of the number needed to win the nomination? Surely there was a better way to grab the national spotlight.
Is there a bright side to all of this? Absolutely! Every red-blooded citizen who managed to go to the polls on Jan. 15 gets to look forward to receiving tons of junk mail from either Michigan's Democratic Party or Republican party.
After all, aside from Mitt Romney winning the GOP primary, the state's political parties were the only true winners in all of this. If you voted, they get to know exactly who you are, where you live and which party ballot you requested. What a comforting thought!
So, what positive, tangible results have come to the citizens of this state because our primary was moved up? How is this going to stop the exodus of jobs and citizens? What long-lasting financial boost did our state economy receive from this venture? How was bumping up our primary in the best interest of all Michiganders?