If the U.S. had a responsible and thoughtful media, the story dominating the news would be this Wall Street Journal story about Americans abandoning the values that once defined them. A survey the Journal conducted with NORC, a nonpartisan research organization, revealed that only 38% of respondents regarded patriotism as being very important to them, and a minority 39% said religion was very important. When the Journal took a similar poll in 1998, 70% deemed patriotism to be very important, and 62% said so of religion.

The findings came in the wake of another Journal/Norc survey revealing that a pervasive economic pessimism has taken hold in America, with four in five respondents describing the state of the economy as not so good or poor, and nearly half said they expect it will get worse in the next year. Americans with children doubt their offspring will be economically better off, and not surprisingly, overall American unhappiness has reached record levels.

One doesn’t require a PhD in sociology to know that when people no longer believe in their country, abandon faith in something greater than themselves, and regard the future as bleak, bad things will happen.

Without exception, every mass gun shooting involves someone who didn’t have much to live for or has untreated mental illness, which also has surged. Nearly five percent of Americans have given serious thought to killing themselves, and nearly 25% of Americans experiencing depression for two weeks or more a month don’t receive medical treatment because they can’t afford it. That’s led to widespread substance abuse problems, yet 94% of Americans with addiction issues receive no treatment.

Not surprisingly, while citizens in other  countries are living longer, American life expectancy is at its lowest levels in two decades.

America is on the brink, and regardless of one’s political persuasion, no reasonable person should have faith in the state of the country’s political or dismal business leadership. I blame America’s entrenched media, which despite commanding virtually no public trust, still has an inordinate influence on presidential elections and the selection of candidates. It’s because of this influence that America is hemorrhaging so badly, and there’s been a precipitous decline in intelligent, experienced, and persons with integrity running for public office.

The fawning media coverage Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has received in recent weeks is a case study on how the media manufactures and promotes narratives about their preferred candidates that have no basis in fact, much like they did about Vice President Kamala Harris, who even Biden Administration insiders regard as a disappointment. For the record, I warned that Harris wasn’t who the media made her out to be.

What’s frightening are the frequent media mentions that Whitmer is a worthy presidential candidate, which she coyly brushes off but doesn’t dismiss outright, except to say she won’t run in 2024 when President Biden says he will stand for reelection. An understanding of Whitmer’s record in Michigan makes clear she isn’t remotely qualified to lead America.

One of the media myths about Whitmer is that she’s a political powerhouse, having won reelection and trounced her opponent by 11 points. Whitmer effectively ran unchallenged because her Trump endorsed opponent wasn’t even remotely qualified to serve as governor. Underscoring the sorry state of Michigan’s Republican party, they couldn’t even defeat Attorney General Dana Nessel, easily among the most inept AGs in the country. Nessel’s opponent, also endorsed by Trump, was accused of stealing from a law firm in 2005 after colleagues alleged he “padded” client billings for personal and professional benefit.

Donald Trump is the best thing that ever happened to Whitmer. Trump referring to Whitmer as “that woman from Michigan,” cemented her national prominence, which began when Joe Biden had her on his short list to be his running mate. Biden reportedly became enamored with Whitmer after watching her on television.

Ford press release

Under Whitmer’s leadership, Michigan has been unable to attract new businesses and is having trouble retaining existing ones because of high taxes, delipidated infrastructure, poor schools, and other issues. Longtime companies like Kellogg have abandoned the state, and Ford has substantially reduced its footprint. The automaker in 2021 announced it would invest more than $11 billion in Tennessee and Kentucky, creating more than 11,000 jobs. Ford also has been moving design and engineering jobs to Mexico, while firing thousands of salaried workers at its Detroit-area headquarters.

Whitmer recently bribed Ford with some $1.7 billion in taxpayer subsidies and other benefits to build an electric battery plant on rural farmland in a community where the company isn’t welcome. Ford claims the $3.5 billion plant will employ 2,500 workers and will utilize licensed technology from a Chinese battery company, on which it will pay a 12% royalty on every battery manufactured.

Here’s some perspective: Oklahoma, like Michigan, is desperate to attract manufacturing investment and was in the running for Volkswagen’s planned $3.6 billion electric battery plant, which the company promised would generate 3,500 new jobs paying on average $75,000 a year. Yet Oklahoma was only willing to offer VW $698 million in subsidies. VW opted to build its plant in Canada, but the government incentives it received aren’t yet publicly known.

Virginia was in contention for Ford’s battery plant, but Gov. Glenn Younkin balked, ostensibly because he claimed the company’s China partnership posed a national security threat. Regardless, it’s unlikely Virginia would have offered Ford anything close to Whitmer’s sweetheart terms. Virginia only gave Amazon subsidies amounting to $22,000 per job to build a second headquarters there, capped at $550 million. The average pay for those jobs was $150,000 per year.

By comparison, Michigan’s Ford battery plant subsidies amount to $700,000 per job with an average wage of $45,136.


Michigan is ranked among the least transparent states, allowing Whitmer to ram through all sorts of questionable sweetheart deals. One such deal was the $100 million in subsidies to fund a pet project of billionaire Stephen Ross called the Detroit Center for Innovation, a collaboration among Ross’ Related Companies, the University of Michigan, and a controversial real estate development company controlled by the Illitch family, owners of Little Caesar’s Pizza. Denise Ilitch, former president of Little Caesar’s, sits on U of M’s Board of Regents.

From a July 14, 2022, story in Crain’s Detroit Business.

Billionaire Stephen Ross traveled to Lansing in February to personally lobby key state lawmakers for funding to build the Detroit Center for Innovation, a collaboration among his real estate firm, the Ilitch family’s Olympia Development of Michigan and the University of Michigan.

Months later, legislators included $100 million for the project — 40 percent of its estimated cost — in $79 billion in spending now headed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her signature.

The outlay was among an unprecedented $1 billion in earmarks, bipartisan spending around which there was no public scrutiny because the legislation was released late at night by conference committees and approved by the Legislature within hours.

Crain’s learned that Ross — chairman of New York City-based developer Related Cos., the Miami Dolphins owner and a major donor to the University of Michigan — made his pitch directly to the four legislative leaders along with top members of the House and Senate budget committees. He visited on Feb. 9, the same day the Democratic governor unveiled her budget proposal.

The $100 million earmark — which amounts to roughly $10 for every person in the state — is tied for the second-largest earmark in the budget, trailing only $130 million for an electric vehicle center at the University of Michigan. It was a surprise because there had been no indication that Ross, Christopher Ilitch, the CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc., or the university would seek public funding outside of potential tax incentives.

Michigan’s schools have long ranked among the nation’s worst, but Whitmer last Friday signed a bill repealing a third grade reading retention law, also known as “Read by Grade Three.” The law established student reading supports and required that schools hold students back from going to the fourth grade if they don’t pass their spring M-STEP testing. Rather than take measures to ensure adequate instruction and teaching, Whitmer argued it was better to pass illiterate students to help them reach “their full potential.”

Only one out of 20 students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District scored at a “proficient” level on the eighth grade National Assessment of Educational Progress reading test, Michigan Capital Confidential reported on Monday. Forty states performed better than Michigan on the fourth-grade reading test in 2022. Fewer than three out of ten students scored “at or above proficient.” Only three states scored “significantly lower than Michigan.”

Surveys show that healthcare is among Americans’ biggest concerns, yet Whitmer was silent as Beaumont Health, a major health system serving Metro Detroit, was driven into decline by a former CEO more focused on profits than maintaining Beaumont’s once nationally respected quality of care. Whitmer is fashioning herself as a champion of unions with her repeal of Michigan’s right-work-law, but she and the UAW were silent when Beaumont’s CEO spent nearly $2 million on union busters to derail an organizing effort by nurses at the hospital system’s flagship hospital.

Whitmer professes a commitment to “healthcare equity,” yet didn’t call for any equity requirements on Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health when it acquired Beaumont Health, a deal that Spectrum’s former CFO warned could result in a “massive financial loss.”

Fox News

Another detail about Whitmer her media admirers never mention is she’s been known to tell bald faced lies. While many will argue that all politicians lie, it’s tolerance of dishonesty that emboldens them to keep fibbing.

Don’t take my word about Whitmer’s dismal leadership – visit Michigan and see for yourself. Drive the potholed roads she promised to fix, talk to disadvantaged students who are being denied a meaningful education that would allow them to attend the University of Michigan like Whitmer’s two daughters, check out beautiful Marshall before Ford breaks ground on its battery plant, and visit the Starbucks location in Detroit the company was forced to close because crime and homelessness made it impossible to operate. Hopefully, while in the Detroit area you won’t be hankering for a Whopper because the Burger King franchisee just closed 26 stores.

Michigan is a beautiful state with incredible potential, but opportunity has been squandered under Whitmer’s leadership. A Whitmer presidency would only further divide America, hasten the country’s economic decline, and dramatically increase depression and malaise.

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