Michigan as a 2024 political bellwether - Separate from Trump or suffer the consequences

One of the several less-than-flattering images out of Michigan in 2020 as MAGA supporters stormed the State Capitol. | 

By D. A. Gougherty |

Ask anyone who knows me well, and they will tell you I am proud of my Michigan and Detroit roots. Even though I have lived in the great state of California longer, and in Elk Grove specifically, than I did in Michigan, I am still a Michigander at heart, even though I have only been there once since 2004. 

Aside from the economic calamities that befell the Great Lake State over the last several decades, it was distressing to see what was happening there in the past few years. And I am not talking about years of football troubles for the University of Michigan before their recent resurrection. 

Recent troubles for the state started with the 2016 elections when Trump won the state and helped deliver him the presidency. Unfortunately, that was the first of several bad moments for Michigan.

Also, recall in April 2020, just as COVID restrictions were put in place by Gov. Grethen Whitmer, armed MAGA supporters stormed the State Capitol in Lansing, threatening several legislators, especially women of color. It was a shameful and embarrassing attack that, in hindsight, was a dress rehearsal for the January 6 Trump coup d'état attempt.

Then there was the late summer 2020 plot by the militia MAGA supporters to kidnap and execute Whitmer.  

But things have changed in Michigan after those events. Michiganders wisely ended their flirtation with the former president and chose Joe Biden in 2020. 

Yesterday, Whitmer defeated a MAGA election-denying Republican for a second term as governor. But there was something more significant than Whitmer's reelection.

Democrats took control of both houses for the first time in 40 years. Additionally, Democrats now hold all four statewide constitutional offices.

How did this happen?

There are many reasons for the role reversal, including a victorious ballot measure to protect reproductive rights and a new citizens redistricting commission that fairly drew district lines. 

But I suspect there is one more reason for this seismic shift - Trump fatigue.

The people of Michigan, most of whom are moderates, probably had enough of the shenanigans of the outsized voice the MAGA crowd had in the governance of their state.  

In this election cycle, Michigan is a bellwether, especially for Republicans. To be sure, militia types are still scurrying around like rats in the state's rural areas, but election results in Michigan this week are cause for hope.  

Most reasonable voters aren't buying into half-baked conspiracy theories that do nothing to fix roads, create jobs, respond to 911 calls or ensure quality schools. Michigan voters had a case of Trump fatigue and all its unsavory side effects and have sent Republicans a message - separate yourself from Trump or suffer the consequences.

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