An Open Letter To Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

Dear Governor Snyder,

Both the Governor and legislature have made it abundantly clear that the state's top two priorities are enabling corporations to maximize profits and enriching the state treasury, with the second being done despite glaring needs in social programs. There is no reason to expect any change in policy for the immediate future.

Therefore, I ask the Governor and Republican lawmakers to cease pretending to represent me, and refrain from expressing concern for my well being. This is a lie.

Furthermore, I request an honest acknowledgement of the state's true intentions, which are:
  1. Enabling the rich to become even richer by reducing taxes on business. 
  2. Increasing the tax burden on the middle class to support state spending.
  3. Gutting environmental protections which adds to global warming and greatly increases the risk to public health from air, water and soil pollution.
  4. Undermining the value of public education in favor of for-profit charter schools which have not proven to be effective, except as a cash cow for owners and operators.
  5. Vilifying teachers and working to eliminate collective bargaining.
  6. Focusing on trivial and relatively inconsequential legislation instead of much needed fixes to roads and infrastructure. (Flint)
  7. Showing a general lack of respect and concern for those most in need of help - the economically disadvantaged (Flint), the mentally ill and the homeless. 
  8. Promoting the interests of corporations and claiming that doing so will greatly benefit the middle class and underprivileged residents.

The actions of this administration do not matched its words. Disingenuous statements about policies intended to improve the lives of all Michiganders are nothing more that patronizing attempts to placate and distract from reality.

However, on the surface, there appears to be an unexpected exception to state policy: the stand taken against repealing the Affordable Care Act. It's been stated this was done out of concern for the wellbeing of those who would lose coverage. Yet, it is difficult not to be suspicious of other less noble reasons being cloaked as concern. More proof is needed before the Governor's stated intention can be accepted as genuine.

I may not be able to change the direction of state government, but I can take a stand - as a vocal conscientious objector. Silence implies consent, and with this letter I state my intention to refuse further participation in the government's campaign to deceive and abuse the citizens of Michigan.

I realize a personal statement like this may not mean anything to anyone else, and I don't expect it to matter in Lansing. However, it matters a great deal to me.


Ron Nilson
Grosse Pointe Woods