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Michigan’s Red-Green Axis

Michigan has something of a split personality. The political landscape is a study in contrasts. For most of its post-Civil War history, Michigan politics has been dominated by Republicans. Yet at the same time, Michigan has spawned some of the most virulent leftist politicians and organizations in the U.S., and they have had a disproportionate impact on Michigan and the nation as a whole. At the same time, Michigan has one of the largest Arab American populations in the country, including both Muslims and Christians, a potentially explosive combination. Michigan is rated number 6 of the top ten Muslim populated states as a percent of the total state population.[1]

Republicans currently hold substantial majorities in both houses of the state legislature. The governor, attorney general and secretary of state are all Republicans. The GOP has held the state Senate every year since 1992, currently by a majority of 27 to 10. The house has been turned over to the Democrats intermittently for only seven of those 26 years. Republicans currently control 63 of the House’s 110 seats, with 46 controlled by Democrats and one vacancy.[2]The governor’s office has been held by Republicans for the past eight years.[3]The office of the Secretary of State has been held every year since 1995.[4]

At the federal level, Democrats have fared much better. With the exception of Robert Griffin (1966-1978) and Spencer Abraham (1995-2000), Democrats have held both U.S. Senate seats since 1965.  From 1965 until 2002, Democrats held the majority of U.S. House seats for all but eight years. Since 2002 Republicans have held the majority for all but two years.[5]

The “Red” in Michigan’s Red-Green Axis

A number of prominent Michigan Democrats have shown their red stripes. Here are a few of the more notorious ones:

  • The late Democratic congressman, George Crockett, was a communist.[6]He served in Michigan’s 13th District (Detroit) from 1980 to 1991. He was also national vice president for the notorious communist-front National Lawyers Guild (NLG), an organization he helped found. His last job in Congress was to chair the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, where he had access to much-classified information. He opposed all U.S. action supporting anti-communists in Central America.
  • Democratic Rep. John Conyers served in the U.S. House from 1965 to 2017, in Detroit’s 1st, 13th, and 14th Districts. An extreme leftist, Conyers has been associated with the Communist Party USA for over 50 years.[7]He was also a board member of the NLG. He was forced to retire in 2017 following multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
  • Former U.S. Rep. David Bonior is a Socialist who was notorious during his days in Congress for opposing President Reagan’s Central American policy towards communists. He has been called a “dear friend to the Muslim community.”[8]In 2002, he and two other congressmen traveled on a “fact-finding” tour to Iraq arranged by Muthanna Al-Hanooti, who directed Michigan-based Life for Relief and Development (LIFE).[9]LIFE received funds from Iraqi intelligence for the trip. Al-Hanooti was later indicted as a spy for Iraq.[10]
  • Far Left Democratic U.S. Senator Gary Peters took the seat of retiring Senator Carl Levin in 2014. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Congress and various state elected positions since 1995. Throughout his career, Peters has been connected to Democratic Socialists of America and was endorsed by the pro-Palestinian, Soros-funded leftist, Astroturf Jewish group, J-Street.[11]J-Street presents itself as a genuine Jewish group, but advocates for the Palestinian cause against Israel. Among other things, in 2011, Peters joined a protest with the anarchist group, Occupy Detroit.[12]
  • Congressman Sander Levin, brother of retired Senator Carl Levin, represents Michigan’s 12th District. In addition to socialist ties, he has spoken highly of the Council for American Islamic Relations, identified by our Department of Justice as a Palestinian terrorist (Hamas) and Muslim Brotherhood front group.[13]
  • Democratic U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow has spent a lifetime working alongside socialists and communists.[14]This split power structure may account for some of Michigan’s political schizophrenia.  Whatever the case, the state has been a breeding ground for some of America’s most extreme leftist organizations and individuals. The 1960s’ New Left was best represented by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which had its founding at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1960.[15]The 1962 Port Huron Statement, written by radical leftist former University of Michigan student newspaper editor, Tom Hayden, envisioned grand plans to reorder society along socialist lines.[16]

    While it claimed to oppose communism, the Statement excused Soviet excesses in Eastern Europe (which led to mass slaughters of civilians), and the SDS would later become famous for supporting the communist North Vietnamese against the free South and U.S. military intervention. SDS became famous for the pro-communist chant, “Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, the NLF (National Liberation Front) is gonna win.”[17]Tom Hayden’s public pronouncements were broadcast in North Vietnamese POW camps to outrage and demoralize Americans held there.[18]The SDS also spawned Bill Ayers’ infamous Weather Underground, which engaged in acts of terrorism throughout the country in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

    We tend to think that universities transformed into bastions of liberalism in the 1970s and 1980s when former 60s radicals took up careers as college professors; however, the poisoning began much earlier. The SDS was formed in 1959 as a rebranding of the pre-existing Student League for Industrial Democracy (SLID) — itself an outgrowth of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society (ISS), founded in 1905 by Clarence Darrow, Jack London, Upton Sinclair, and others.[19]

    From 1905 forward, ISS and SLID targeted universities with the specific goal of co-opting university professors to indoctrinate students.[20]This idea gained further momentum during a 1922 COMINTERN meeting held at Moscow’s Marx-Engels Institute, where Soviet agent of influence Willi Münzenberg urged Western Communist leaders to “organize the intellectuals and use them to make Western civilization stink. Only then, after they have corrupted all its values and made life impossible, can we impose the dictatorship of the proletariat,” he said (emphasis added).[21]

    As early as the 1930s, students were showing the successes of this effort by conducting mass protests and anti-war walkouts.[22]Below is a 1963 photo of an SDS National Council meeting in Bloomington, Indiana.[23]Note the symbolic SDS raised fist is actually the Leninist salute.[24]Doubtless college students of the day, like many now, thought this was just radical and fun.

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