COLUMN: Democrats finally got a win, Michigan is about to be a very different state thanks to moderate Michiganders

Between the governor's seat and three passed proposals, Michigan is looking blue


With Gretchen Whitmer’s gubernatorial victory and the passing of all three ballot proposals, things in Michigan are about to change – hopefully drastically.

While she's not the most exciting candidate, Whitmer’s triumph in the face of misogynistic campaign ads speaks volumes about the future of the state.

Whitmer’s way forward is a lot clearer than many speculate. Don’t expect sweeping progressive legislation. Don’t expect Medicare for all, free college or drastic prison reform. 

What we can expect are small steps towards these things. For example, we won’t get Medicare for all, but pre-existing conditions appear safe. 

We won’t get free college, but trade schools could be more accessible and student loan refinancing and forgiveness is on the horizon. 

We won’t get sweeping prison reform and non-violent drug offenders won’t be released because proposition one was passed, but people will no longer go to jail for using marijuana recreationally. 

Whitmer doesn’t need to be a progressive champion —she wasn’t elected to be.

If Whitmer is going to do anything, she better makes our roads a whole hell of a lot better, because she didn’t really campaign on anything else. That campaign promise reflects a lot on Whitmer. I believe she won because the Michigan Republican party was left in shambles by Snyder, and its 2018 candidate had as much personality as a rock. 

I am not exaggerating. A local Republican official told me on election night he thought Bill Schuette needed a lot of help showing his personality, but wouldn’t take it. 

Am I surprised Whitmer won? 

Absolutely not. Am I glad she did? Absolutely. Her almost 9 percent win shows me Michigan is ready to be blue.

As of Nov. 7, Michigan will no longer put adults in jail for using marijuana recreationally. The state moved to reduce gerrymandering and ensured Michiganders have the right to vote as easily as possible. 

Those three simple things, along with a moderate Democrat governor, are a first step in helping Michigan compete nationally. These steps prove we can achieve a better future for our children, and make Michigan a state I want to stay in. 

I whole heartedly predict that Michigan will continue to move left. 

In 2020, the Democrats will show us what they can do in the midwest to wrestle local and federal control back from Republicans. The Republican party that has cut taxes for the rich, lied about support for preexisting conditions and actively worked to prevent Americans from voting. 

Michigan Democrats haven’t had a decent election season since 2012. 

Hopefully, 2018 set the stage for more to come.