Today, Michigan, Tomorrow the Nation

RICK SNYDER, Gauleiter * for Michigan, has abolished democratic government in that state’s largest city, Detroit, as he has done for Royal Oak Township, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Flint, the Village of Three Oaks, Allen Park, Pontiac, Ecorse, and Benton Harbor, as well as Detroit Public Schools, Highland Park Schools, and Muskegon Heights Schools. The State Gauleiter has appointed local dictators ** who under Michigan’s emergency law have the power to abolish departments of government, breach public contracts, fire workers, sell public assets, repeal laws and promulgate new laws by decree.

It is probably not too surprising to note that the local governments taken over have not been those in predominantly White communities but rather in cities and public schools comprised of African-Americans. The Republican Party is working to purge voting rolls of Black voters and, as we learned earlier this week, have their Judicial stooges gunning to overturn the cornerstone of the nation’s Civil Rights laws, the Voting Rights Act.

It is surprising that the mainstream media has given very little attention to the dismantling of democratic government in Michigan. If this had happened in Russia, Iran or China,  the Media would be giving it non-stop coverage and the Obama Administration would be seeking a United Nations resolution in condemnation. But it is happening in the United States. The very foundation of American democracy is local self-government and the fact that it has been so easily discarded portends ill for the nation at large.


* “Gauleiter” is the term Nazi Germany gave to provincial governors. It seems to be the appropriate title for Governor Snyder as well.

** “Dictator” is accurate and is not hyperbole. A public official who has absolute power and is subject to no legal constraint as are the “Emergency Financial Managers” appointed under this Law are dictators.

2 responses to “Today, Michigan, Tomorrow the Nation

  1. I love your blog and keep up the great work, but you somewhat misfired on this one.

    The financial facts on the ground in Detroit are hideous, and the actions of local officials have been futile.

    Yes, it is true that outstate white voters probably like feeling superior to a bankrupt city with high minority population……..and it is true that Snyder is a sleazy tool of the right wing.

    But this reminds me of the controversies over the Oakland school board. There are minorities in power who are crooks and incompetents, no different than white crooks.

    Detroit is like Greece– vast amounts of taxes go uncollected, and municipal workers resist all cuts in pay and benefits. Your article is incomplete in that what is the alternative?

    • dissentingdemocrat

      The Law provides remedies for crime and corruption. We need not punish the voters and citizens who are innocent of wrongdoing by dismantling democratic government. If there are crimes being committed then prosecute the criminals and that does not require the imposition of dictatorship. As Woodrow Wilson once said the remedy for the defects in a Democracy is MORE Democracy.

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