Is There A Michigan Crazy Person Who ISN'T Running Against Gretchen Whitmer?
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is up for re-election in November, and her Republican opponents are uniformly terrible. There’s Tudor Dixon — yes, that’s a real person, not a restricted country club — who has smeared Whitmer with shameless lies. Ryan Kelley was at the Capitol on January 6 and is seen in footage shouting, "Come on, let’s go! This is it! This is — this is war, baby!” It’s unclear if he went on to storm the Capitol but that’s a matter of fact for a jury, not something voters should have to consider when choosing their next governor. Kelley also suggested that his supporters tamper with voting machines if they see anything they don’t like (presumably votes for Democrats).
Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig was ahead in GOP primary polls for a while, but he’s trailing Whitmer in recent head-to-head polls. The MAGA mob might claim this is because he’s too normal (and/or Black). There’s no future in Republican politics for normal.
This brings us to yet another GOP candidate for governor, Garrett Soldano. He made news this week with his grotesque statements about abortion and rape. During a podcast interview with April Moss, Soldano admitted that most rape victims aren’t jazzed about forcibly carrying their pregnancies to term, but Soldano thinks we’ve just failed to motivate them. He claims that "God put them in this moment,” because apparently God’s an asshole.
Soldano wants forced birth victims to appreciate that while the state has greatly reduced their own life options, the fetus inside them has limitless options. Hooray!
Garrett Soldano, a GOP candidate for governor in Michigan, says we must inspire women who have been raped to understand how heroic they are in giving birth and see that "God put them in this moment." \n\nThey don't know "that baby inside them may be the next president."pic.twitter.com/uVVqX2G54S— Heartland Signal (@Heartland Signal) 1643665411
SOLDANO: There’s a lot of situations out there. When you talk about rape and everything else, and hey, maybe they deserve an abortion.
Yes, he said “maybe they deserve an abortion.” Feel free to take a moment and hit something. I’ll wait.
OK, we’re back.
Soldano shared one of those annoying stories about how some successful person he knows was adopted. This person’s birth mother was gang-raped in a subway station but she chose (emphasis on “chose”) to carry the pregnancy to term. Soldano proceeds to insult every rape survivor who has made a different choice and say that his friend’s birth mother had the “courage” to not have an abortion.
SOLDANO: However, why don’t we start inspiring women in the culture to let them know how heroic they are? ... God put them in this moment and they don’t know that baby inside them may be the next president.
The baby could also be a psychopath ... or both. Recent history indicates that’s not mutually exclusive.
It also doesn’t matter because the government shouldn’t force women to sacrifice themselves for a fetus’s theoretical presidential ambitions. As Anna Maltese observed, what if the woman is the one who might’ve been president? This literally doesn’t even occur to him.
What if it was the young woman who was destined to be president one day, and you defied God by forcing her to carry and raise her rapist's baby?pic.twitter.com/h3gybGK0Cp— Anna Maltese \ud83d\udc9b \ud83c\udff9 \ud83d\udc9b (@Anna Maltese \ud83d\udc9b \ud83c\udff9 \ud83d\udc9b) 1643740476
Look, if Soldano wants to make the “carry your rapist's baby to term because they might be president” pitch, he’s free to do so while abortion is still legal. That’s how it should work in a free country. Besides, we all know Republicans like Soldano would probably run ads against Democrats smearing them for having rapist parents.
Predictably, Soldano opposes all sensible COVID-19 mitigation measures. He fought Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, and on his campaign website, he declares: "In America, freedom matters. Left-wing extremists and power-hungry bureaucrats are trying to take away our most fundamental liberties, and we must fight back. Freedom, not force - sign our petition to tell the Democrats: No Vaccine Mandates!”
A December study revealed that 160,000 unvaccinated Americans had died from COVID-19 since June, and the vaccine could’ve saved their lives. The study doesn’t show how many of them might’ve been president someday. That doesn’t seem important. Ideally, Soldano would stop trying to impose his will on women and instead help those who are already living. But his kind never does. That’s not where the power is.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."