Want Unity? Uphold the Platform!


Anyone who has examined Common Core knows it’s not something they want their children subjected to, but unfortunately, Michigan’s Governor Snyder is one of Common Core’s loudest proponents. Only a handful of Michigan legislators have had the tenacity to publicly denounce Snyder’s pro-Common Core stance. To date, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has never publicly stated that Governor Snyder is wrong to support Common Core.

Now that grassroots activist Wes Nakagiri has challenged Mr. Calley’s incumbency, Republican Party leaders are desperately crying out for “party unity.” What they really mean by that is, “Fall in line and vote for our hand-picked man, the incumbent.”

Isn’t it strange that Republican Party leaders call loudest for party unity when their favorite candidates are challenged, yet party unity was thrown to the wind when several very important votes came up in Lansing this past year (i.e. Common Core and the Medicaid Expansion)? The Republican Party’s State Nominating Convention is fast approaching and party leadership is predictably telling party rank and file to fall in line “united” behind their favorites, including Mr. Calley.

The questions grassroots activists should ask are: “Why didn’t Mr. Calley publicly urge Gov. Snyder to unite his education policy with his own party’s platform? Why didn’t the Lieutenant Governor unite party leadership to oppose Common Core when it was voted on in the legislature? Why is it ONLY NOW that Mr. Calley regurgitates poll-tested campaign rhetoric opposing Common Core as he courts conservative votes he’ll need at convention?”

Actions speak louder than words, and for two years while debate over Common Core grew to a crescendo in Michigan, Mr. Calley never once publicly challenged the governor’s pro-Common Core agenda.

Silence … until Wes Nakagiri challenged Mr. Calley for the office of Lieutenant Governor.

Now that Mr. Calley’s political future is in question, the braying chorus of “party unity” is repeated like some mind-numbing mantra.

I’m sick and tired of hearing party leaders demand “party unity” when the folks they want us to unite behind divided themselves from the party platform’s most important planks; especially on the issues of the Medicaid Expansion and Common Core.

So, Platform Republicans, like me, are saying, “You want party unity? That’s all well and good, as long as it NEVER takes precedence over upholding and defending the U.S. Constitution, and as long as it NEVER takes precedence over upholding crucial planks in the party platform.” Any elected official who violates either of those principles is a deal breaker and deserves to be voted out of office. Plain and simple.

Of course, the same principle applies to upholding and defending the Michigan State Constitution which is very specific regarding the purpose of education, and stands in direct contrast to Governor Snyder’s pro-Common Core agenda.

To clearly understand the purpose of education according to our state constitution, a bit of history is in order. Thomas Jefferson was instrumental in making the case for education. Jefferson observed, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?…. Establish the law for educating the common people.” In that context, consider the means by which the Founding Fathers intended to educate the common people.

In 1787, the Founders created the U.S. Constitution as well as the Northwest Ordinance which established a system for “educating the common people.” Our State Constitution includes legal language declaring the purpose of education using a sentence taken directly from the Northwest Ordinance. According to Article VIII, Section 1, of our state constitution: “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”  Obviously, our state’s constitution upholds the Founding Fathers’ view of education.

Governor Snyder, on the other hand, upholds Bill Gates’ Common Core view of education. Mr. Calley could have spent the past two years pointing out the differences between these two competing views of education publicly, but he didn’t.

Michigan needs a Lieutenant Governor who opposes Common Core all the time, not just when he’s trying to get re-elected. I acknowledge that Mr. Calley is a good man, and that he, and the governor, and the Republican-controlled legislature balanced the budget and passed Right to Work. Those are all good things, but they haven’t been enough to achieve what is necessary.

Winston Churchill allegedly once observed, “It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”

Right now, in America, it is necessary for men and women to withstand the Progressive Left’s assault against the U.S. Constitution. We need statesmen with principles, integrity, and courage to take the lead in this fight for our nation’s very survival.

Wes Nakagiri is that kind of man.

Tim Keller
About Tim Keller
Tim Keller loves God, America and his Family. He has taught history, government, speech and writing at the secondary level since 1997.

2 Comments on Want Unity? Uphold the Platform!

  1. You said “desperately”

    What desperation?

    Wes won’t be the candidate for anything on Sunday.

    • Tim Keller LifeandLiberty76 // August 21, 2014 at 11:58 pm //

      I find this comment interesting in that there is zero attempt to argue against the facts presented in this blog post; merely a simplistic form of negative cheerleading akin to denouncing some rival school’s team.

      LOOK: The future of our state, and our nation is at stake. The voters of Michigan delivered a historic landslide/mandate to the Republican Party in 2010. And that has been largely squandered in many significant ways. And again, I honestly concede the point that balancing the budget was significant. Right to Work was a major victory. But two battles do not win a war, if the most significant objectives are surrendered to the enemy on a silver platter.

      Medicaid Expansion was what Obama demanded from Lansing. Snyder and Calley delivered what Obama demanded. That was a major loss in light of the party platform and the will of the voters, not to mention the principles of liberty that are trampled on by Obamacare (the list of founding principles violated by Obamacare is legion).

      Common Core is the Progressive Left’s effort to finally put school curriculum under the thumb of federal bureaucrats. Yet, MRP leaders in Lansing are dancing to the piper’s tune from the White House, instead of heeding sound founding principles, the will of the voters, and more importantly 3 federal laws that prohibit enacting a national curriculum.

      Surrendering on these two issues is the equivalent of a general surrendering miles and miles of ground his men just fought tooth and nail to take back from an enemy in time of war. That would be absurd, and what the MRP leadership has done with Medicaid Expansion and Common Core is absurd especially in light of the party platform and the clear majorities voters delivered the party in 2010.

      Surely, you must have a more compelling argument to explain your support for the incumbent?

      But then again, that is why Wes Nakagiri is running, because the state Republican Party’s leadership has failed in its position on both Medicaid Expansion and Common Core and their position is indefensible; especially in light of the fact that both the state and national party platforms call for the full repeal of Obamacare and demand that we Stop Common Core.

      If you think Medicaid Expansion is such a hallmark of a man’s conservative leadership upholding the party platform and founding principle, then please explain that clearly. Save the cheerleading for some Friday night football game.

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