Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Which Southerner Would Michiganders Like Better?

Originally posted on 8/30/07. Today is the last day to register online for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference. If you are sa Mike Huckabee supporter and have not registered, please register. I get to make some coffee and get back to my blouse. I will be back to my blog soon.
I was thinking about Mike Huckabee coming to the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference and the fact that he will be in the great state of Michigan, along with the recent support from Machinist and Aeronautics Workers. Michigan, especially in Flint (where I grew up), Lansing and Detroit is Union Country.
During one of the earlier blogger's conference calls I asked Gov. Huckabee about his slogan "I Like Mike," if he took that idea from the old "I Like Ike" slogan. He answered that it was a friends idea, but wish he had thought about it originally. He said something to the effect of "Speaking of slogans, I didn't know there were any rednecks in Michigan." While he was well meaning, there are quite a few rednecks in Michigan. More on that later.
As I have said before, one of my grandfathers was an Arkansan with an eighth grade education before working for General Motors. This is the story of many GM workers from GM's heyday, 1940's through 1960's. Many people in Flint and Lansing, possibly Detroit, are either from the South or have Southern roots.
While I don't agree with this, these people will look to Southern candidates. This is due to "voter identification." They will take a closer look at who they identify with more. Most members of the Union of Auto Workers of the above mentioned cities are Democrats. Like my grandfather, many of them vote for "Yellow Dog Democrats."
This time might just change. While I don't like the actual organization of the UAW, I have the utmost respect for the men and women who work in the shops. These people have a high regard for family values. A family values candidate will resonate with them.
On the Republican side, the Southerners are Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson. I don't know either of these men's schedules for in Michigan, except the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference. Now, there won't be too many UAW workers at this conference, if any. But, there will be newspapers and TV news stations that represent the cities these people are from. I doubt to many people in Flint will care to pay much attention to the conference. I will get my family in Flint to pay attention and tell their friends along with the distant side of the family.
This, along with other reasons, is why I pray that Mike Huckabee doesn't change his message of "Main Street" Republican, just to appease the base that will be there. People who are not "Wall Street" Republicans will be watching. Everyone in Flint, Lansing and Detroit need to see that Mike is for us "little guys," the blue-collars. They need to see that he cares about all Americans; rich or poor, Republican or Democrat, black or white.
I would love to see him in Flint. I would not be able to actually see him there, but I sure would send my family. Why would I like to see Mike Huckabee in Flint, such a liberal town? His message would resonate with Flintites.
Flint used to be such a nice town. Not quite in my time. In my time that's when the city started going downhill. Back then it was fun to pile up the family in the car and to go into town to watch them blow up or bulldoze an old GM plant. In hopes, perhaps of them building a newer facility.
That never came. Now it is sad to go to Flint. There are boarded up houses and factories. So many people layed off, on unemployment, gang activity and whatnot. I WANT MY FLINT BACK!
Mike Huckabee can make people realize that it is about more than just Democrats versus Republicans. It's about people. It's about the economy. It's about the Fair Tax being fair for everyone.
Mike Huckabee came from humble roots, in Hope, Arkansas. He was the first male in his family to attend college. His father worked two jobs to put a meal on the table and shoes on his kids' feet. Mike Huckabee knows what it is like to struggle and work hard to make his dreams come true. That is what the shopworkers from the forties to the sixties know about. That is what their children and grandchildren know about.
Now about the other Republican Southerner. I don't know much about Fred Thompson. He seems rather lazy. Another blogger said Fred reminds him of a rich Plantation Owner. I say he reminds me of the foreman. The meanest guy on the plantation who did all the cruel stuff. But perhaps the fellow blogger has a point. The plantation owner sat around and let the other guy, the foreman, do all the dirty work, along with those in the field doing the backbreaking work. This smugness does not work in Flint. The people of Flint would not welcome someone like Fred.
Now about the Democrat Southerner. I do know John Edwards is the son of a millworker. I do know he has a big mansion. I do know he wants everyone to get rid of their SUVs, while he continues to drive his. The part about him coming from humble roots would generate with those in Flint who have Southern backgrounds or ancestry. That's where it ends. They don't like big shot lawyers. They don't like hypocrites.
The UAW may go all out to tout their prized Democrats. But I think once the good people who belong to the UAW, along with those retired from the shops, would give Huckabee a chance once they got to hear about him. No freakin way would they go for Hillary or Barack. As much as I hate to say it, while it's not right, they will look at gender and skin color. It shouldn't be this way, but some older Flintites are set in their ways. But also the liberalness is what will ultimately turn them off to those two.
Now, about other Michigan rednecks. I think, or at least hope, that Flintites are getting sick of the limousine liberals. People in Flint are humble, from humble backgrounds. My dad or grandpa told me that back in Arkansas and when first in Flint he would hunt rabbit and "varmint" (as Mitt Romney has so eloquently put it) to put food on the table. Also, when I went to my grandma's funeral I was told that the family also used to raise chickens along with veggies and fruits. Who plucked those chickens? My aunts.
There were other families doing the same things. These are people who came from states like Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and of course Arkansas. The remaining people of Southern backgrounds are family values, love the American Flag (don't say it...), support our troops, pro-lifers once they figure out the truth, don't believe in gay marriage, etc. These decent folks have been abandoned by the Union that was supposed to help them. And the Democrat Party that they were told would "take all their troubles away," which never happened.
While I have been talking about the white side who came from the South, I haven't forgotten about the black people of Flint, Detroit and Lansing. Most of these people have Southern roots also. Some of them are descended from slaves who came to Michigan to work other types of industry, just after the Civil War. Some of them were GM workers who came up to Michigan from the South for the same reasons as my grandfather, to make a better life for their families. And now, like the white descendants of Flint, their descendants are wondering "what now?".
As a white girl, I don't feel appropriate talking about what it is like to "grow up black" in Flint. But it is definitely appropriate to have empathy.
Sorry for such a long post. I hope ya didn't fall asleep ;). I am only getting started. I haven't even said everything on my mind about this.
God Bless from the Upper Peninsula in Michigan!
If you are in Flint or near Flint, demand that Mike Huckabee come to Flint.

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