Michigan can progress with new leadership

Alex Belz

The results are in: by the time you have this newspaper in your hands, it’ll be common knowledge that Rick Snyder will be our new governor come Jan. Whether you voted Democrat, Republican or third party this past election, the election of Rick Snyder is something we all have to accept now. For the first time in eight years, a Republicans will hold the executive office in Michigan.

Regardless of who everyone voted for, as voters, our job is done. Now we are left to watch what Snyder will do with the governorship. It is my hope, as well as the hope of many people in the state, that he will take Michigan and fix its broken economy.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has tried for years to fix the economy and though she’s publicly stated many times that her efforts to revamp the economy will take a while to show growth, so far her efforts haven’t done very much to prove to voters that they were effective.

Melissa Pinskey/NW

I think several of her plans were well thought out and may even work over time. Her efforts to diversify the economy were good steps toward recovery, even if there isn’t much to show for it yet.

It’s no secret that Granholm’s time in office was often marred by in-fighting between Democrats and Republicans. Several times while she was in office the government was forced to shut down because a budget had not been decided upon yet due to disputes between the parties.

Hopefully, the senators and representatives in the Michigan Congress, both old and new, as well as Snyder, can work together better than they have in the past. Maybe this really can be a step forward for the state of Michigan.

The voters, at least, seem to believe this overall.  Snyder won, with 58 percent of the vote, to opponent Virg Bernero’s 40 percent.

I think it helps that Rick Snyder is not the typical Republican. He won the primary without the backing of the main lobbyist groups that traditionally back the Republican candidate for governor. He also ran the campaign almost entirely with his own funds, something that is nearly impossible in the modern day.

As such, he’s not a typical bought-and-paid for politician. He ran under the moniker “One Tough Nerd” in his commercials. The 10-point plan he unveiled for the changes he wanted to make to “reinvent” Michigan, addresses everything from tax reform to education to the environment.

Traditionally, in times like these, elections tend to show a flip-flopping of parties in office. On the national scale, former President George W. Bush’s efforts to fix the economy were seen as weak by voters. It seems to me the result was voters choosing Democrat Barack Obama to be their next president over Republican John McCain in 2008.

Now, in the midterm election, voters have flip-flopped again – Republicans took back the U.S. House of Representatives and took governorships across the country. The implied hope, it seems, is that if one party can’t do it, maybe another can.

I hope that all parties can put the past behind them and move forward. This state needs to be revitalized, and regardless of whether everyone believes Snyder is the man to do it, if we can move forward, maybe he will be. It’s my hope that Snyder takes his 10 point plan and truly enacts a change in Michigan. We certainly need it.