Governor candidate on gerrymandering in Michigan

On Monday, Oct. 23, I asked Abdul El-Sayed, who is running for governor, “If you are elected to office, seeing how gerrymandering is working in our state and the super majorities Republicans hold in both congressional houses, how do you plan on compromising to fulfill your agenda?”

El-Sayed replied confidently and thoroughly about the problems with Gerrymandering in our state and how we need to work to end Gerrymandering and work to restore a healthy political balance in the state. All things I agree with, but then in the second half of his answer he said something that I immediately was concerned about.

El-Sayed stated that if he was elected it would certainly give him a large mandate, being a progressive, young, Muslim doctor. At face value, and in most of our understandings about politics, this makes sense. Of course, in normal and reasonable cases, politicians would be wary of their own political stances if someone of a radically different political stance was elected to the most powerful executive post in the state. This all would make political sense.

This is the same philosophy that the Obama administration went about in the early years of his presidency. They declared they had a clear mandate and that the republicans ought to compromise with the the President. Not only did the Republicans in the legislature not compromise, they embarked on a blatant campaign of obstruction and resistance. Even when President Obama gave significant concessions to the Republicans the Republicans would simply redraw the line and continue to oppose anything President Obama did.

Simply taking the issue of race and religion out of the equation for Abdul the problem still remains, he’s a progressive, and very much so. The conservative legislature wouldn’t work with someone that progressive and would do everything in their power to damage his position as governor. The fact is that without a major reform to the political landscape of Michigan I do not see how Abdul El-Sayed could effectively work as governor and deal the legislature as it stands today.

El-Sayed said at the townhall many times that Michigan is not a “Trump State” and he’s right. I just don’t think Michigan is a “progressive state” ether. 

Now don’t take all of this as me being “anti Abdul.” I think he is a very smart and intelligent man, and no matter how this election turns out I have no doubt that he will be successful here in Michigan, whether he remains in the political or private sector. I do hope he continues to run for office. I simply think right now we need to look realistically at the political landscape of Michigan and do our best to fix the structure of our current system. I have not endorsed any candidate for Governor yet in this race. 


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