Michissippi Rising: Rick Snyder is our Jefferson Davis

Michissippi

Some people have begun calling Michigan Michissippi.  This is not meant as an insult to the many smart and decent people who live in Mississippi.  It is meant as an insult to the dominant political force in Mississippi whose ideals are now gaining traction in Michigan.   Those ideals are not a lot different than they were during the time of the Civil War.  In fact, former Senate Majority leader Trent Lott, a Mississippian, even said in 1984 that the Republican platform is composed of ideas similar to those of Jefferson Davis.  Mississippi was home to Davis who was a U.S. Senator before becoming the Confederate President.  Mississippi is so proud of Jefferson Davis that they used millions of dollars of tax money to help pay for the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library.  Yes, Mississippi still honors a racist who committed treason and has the nerve to address him as “President.”

Not only does Mississippi lag behind in its progress with social issues, it also lags behind the rest of the country in many indicators of economic strength.  For instance, Mississippi has the highest percentage of residents living in poverty, it has one of the least educated workforces, and also has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.  This is despite the fact that Mississippi has  implemented many of the ultra-right wing policies pushed by the extreme right wing organization ALEC.  These are the same policies that Republican lawmakers are now implementing in Michigan.

What links Michigan and Mississippi is more than the implementation of conservative economic policies like our new right-to-work law that goes into effect today.  It is a belief that the advancement of commerce is more important than anything else, including our freedoms.  Davis was a proponent of slavery and called it “useful employment.”  Governor Rick Snyder has signed laws that suspend democracy, busted unions, eliminated charitable tax deductions, and he has raised taxes on the poor and on retirees.  He did it all in the name of “job creation,” which sounds like a synonym of “useful employment.”

There are a lot of states that we could learn from when it comes to creating economic prosperity.  Vermont has an unemployment rate of only 5.1% and has one of the highest educated workforces in the country.  But we are not “reinventing” ourselves into Vermont because their plan for economic prosperity includes investing in workers and protecting worker rights.  Instead we are adopting the Mississippi/Republican model that exploits workers to assure personal wealth for corporations and business owners, a modern day enslavement.

The future of Michigan includes a disinvestment in education, an erosion of worker rights, and many low paying jobs.  This isn’t speculation, much of it has become law in the past two years.  Michigan has become part of the deep South.  Welcome to Michissippi.  Now get to work.

Note: On 2/7/2013 Mississippi officially ratified the 13th Amendment joining the other 49 states in agreeing that slavery should be abolished.

chadphillips
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Comments

  1. It’s a pendulum, The liberals have taken Michigan too far into turmoil, just as the conservatives have swung it too far in Mississppi. The benefit MI will get from Snyder implementing these ideal will greatly help are depressed state, just as Mississippi would benefit from liberal plans there. However, I am not a Mississippi resident I am a Michigan Man. I believe Snyder is what we need to move the pendulum back to the middle. Neither side is right or wrong. It’s how to compromise between the ideals which makes the greatest strength.

    Now for Jefferson Davis, who was in fact President of the Confederate States of America. Albeit only 4 years (thankfully). He was a believer and fighter for his cause, and was a great SENATOR of this United States of America. It is great that Mississippi created a library and named it after such a man. Yeah, sure, he was racist, and that is a fact of the nature and social norms of the 19th century. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were also slave owners, who enjoyed “useful employment”. How come you did not include those great Americans to compare to Snyder? Later, and before his death and after the ratification of the 14the amendment Jefferson Davis stated that he believed the union must be preserved. His ideology changed! What a great man, to put his ego aside and look at the reality at hand and make a decision. The really question is, Can yours adapt to the climate and needs of or struggling Michigan economy? Can you get over your ego, and your “need” to write this one-side article?
    From what it appears I would suspect not.

    About myself, call me what you will, I am a pro-choice, pro second amendment, pro gay marriage, pro capital punishment American, I tend to be fiscally conservative. I will not define myself to any party or agenda, because, like anything that has ever happened on this planet, it will change.

    At the end there is a time and place for everything. In MI, there is a clear necessity for conservative action, and Snyder is moving that train in the face of great turmoil to bring change and action we need. I respect him for that. As for Mississppi they clearly need more liberal ideals to move there pendulum back to the middle. I only hope they can “get over themselves” also and give the people of that state what they need.

    I end with this “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” – GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address, Sep. 17, 1796

    Anyone can be a critic.

    • Matt,

      I appreciate your well written and well thought out response. Your pendulum analogy makes a lot of sense. I’m just not sure that Dems have ever had the type of control that the Repubs have now. So, I do not think this state has ever been pulled all the way left and now the Repubs have pulled us all the way right.

      You ask “Can yours adapt to the climate and needs of or struggling Michigan economy?” To this I say, I cannot adapt my beliefs to include an economic agenda that does not provide a living wage, workplace protections, and benefits for the American worker. Trickle down economic philosophies have been proven not to work for the American worker.

      Since you provided a great Washington quote, let me finish with a great Thomas Jefferson quote since you mentioned both. “I hope we shall crush… in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

    • Matt thanks for the comment. I disagree with your statement that we need “conservative action.” We need progressive action. More investment in our cities and our infrastructure, less cutting and less privatization.

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