Political Endorsements and the GOP Position – Detroitisit

The dust has finally settled on Michigan’s precarious Republican gubernatorial ticket. Only five candidates remain after half were removed for providing false signatures on their petitions. Among these, one was recently stopped by the FBI for his involvement in the January 6 attack, and we could not fairly high poll meet the minimum requirement of a debating gallery. As for the other three, there is a specter of horror behind each of their campaigns.

Many in Michigan seem puzzled as to how to talk about the race. It seems biased and undemocratic to say that there is no good Republican choice. Some of Michigan’s biggest media institutions have advocated for damage control, endorsing the candidate who poses the least risk to the people of Michigan while highlighting the unique circumstances that brought us here. However, with this bid for bipartisan inclusion comes a very clear long-term danger to our political ecosystem.

On July 23, the Detroit Free Press published a opinion piece, signed by its editorial board, endorsing Kevin Rinke as its Republican choice. The article says that in the absence of a good option, Rinke is the “least dangerous” candidate. This suggests that while not to the point of someone like Liz Cheney, Rinke is an exception to outright Trumpism. In the context of the other candidates, he rates him more like Reagan or Gingrich than Trump.

While acknowledging the nuance of his allegiance to Trump in other ways, the Free Press suggests that ‌Rinke does not support the MAGA mantra of voter fraud. “In an interview with the Free Press editorial board, he said he found ‘no evidence’ that Biden’s victory was fraudulent,” it says.


But there is no review of the statements he made to the contrary. During the June 2 debate on Mackinac Island, Rinke was asked whether he would accept the election results. He replied, “We know there was fraud in the election. Unquestionably. We know this because there have been frauds in every election.

He went on to illustrate “significant election irregularities” by testifying that his house received mail-in ballots for people who did not live there (an event that does not contribute to voter fraud). Rinke even joked with Soldano about the demystified conspiratorial film, 2000 mules and produces campaign advertisements on this platform.

The definitive statement about Rinke’s view based on an interview likely comes from the pursuit of healthy competition and the culturally rooted value that the election represents a reasonable range of political ideologies. This is simply not the case.

The Free Press endorsement is not an isolated case. July 6, The Detroit News endorsed Tudor Dixon in a similar fashion. The newspaper said his decision was difficult because of the state of disarray in the GOP campaign. Despite his difficulty, the newspaper supported the candidate who more recently hosted a Trump’s endorsement.

But the general tone is less critical than The Free Press. The article says The News chose Dixon based on her



potential, “Ability to unify Michigan and bring consensus on government to Lansing.” He even calls her “an optimist who sees a prosperous and positive Michigan.”

Nothing is mentioned about Dixon’s confidence other than a 14 years old Sexual assault victim is perfect proof of a complete abortion ban, his financial support of the Devos family and his potential influence on opinions on issues like line 5or her conditional commitment accept the election results.

The problem is not that these institutions lack criticism of candidates. The Free Press article is far from having an objectively positive view of the Rinke campaign. The problem is that this approach weighs candidates on a curve rather than by the standard we should expect.

GOP candidates aren’t all exactly the same, but their views are fairly homogeneous that none of them should have the power and privilege to be crowned “least damaging”. They all have destructive attitudes toward precarious and sensitive topics in Michigan, like the environment, Women’s rightsand voting inclusiveness.

Regardless of how many times it is said that there is no right choice when a candidate is ultimately considered the best option among a group of unqualified individuals, it implies that they can see a world where that person is elected. In a subtle way, this normalizes and legitimizes this candidate’s talking points.

Objectively scandalous campaigns which, given the CVs and platforms of previous candidateswould never have reached the GOP standard in previous election cycles, doesn’t seem too extreme.

This is how one finds arguably Michigan’s most reputable newspaper backing a candidate in part on the principle that he is the least committed to Trump voter fraud and the “least likely to lead his party even more deep into the authoritarian abyss”, while this candidate is affirming “the dead still vote democrat” and Democrats are pushing for infanticide rights.

A candidate should challenge the status quo, but this cohort only challenges the standards of qualification, namely a reality-based platform.

In the end, a media endorsement may not be a decisive factor in the outcome of an election. In the 2016 presidential race, Clinton had 500 endorsements to Trump’s 28, and she still lost. But there is an indisputable long-term effect on society when media institutions give these ideologies time on a respected platform without critical scrutiny. It is easy to observe how the rhetoric of President Trump continues to influence the political atmosphere despite the revocation of its public platforms.

One factor that may contribute to occasional and incidental support for far-right ideologies is the underestimation of the candidate’s potential for success. “We will be alarmed if Rinke’s proposal turns out to be more than a bumper sticker slogan,” The Free Press said of its budget plans.

The article ended by flirting with the idea of ​​encouraging “Democratic and independent voters to sabotage the GOP primary by voting for a more repulsive fringe gubernatorial candidate than Rinke.” Even after Trumpand although the polls systematically underestimated the Republican vote, they still don’t think there’s a chance of these candidates gaining real power.

In an interview with Pointer, Scott Gillespie of the Star Tribune says that newspaper endorsement is a traditional fulfillment of the leadership role to which an editorial board is beholden. He says, “We also want to be widely read and relevant, and our recommendations generate readership and spark healthy debate…

But some traditions no longer align with the new political landscape and some media companies have already adapted. In 2016, The Arab American News declined to endorse a first-time presidential candidate. More recently he supported nor candidate for the 2021 mayoral race in Hamtramck. Maybe it’s time to follow their lead and stop pretending far-right ideology can be progressive just because the election doesn’t represent any alternative.

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