By Jerry Alatalo
f one could use some type of measuring device to gauge the perceptions of people living in the state of Michigan, it’d be interesting to know what percentage are aware that their votes will determine the future of humanity. Michigan voters will decide whether Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. On Tuesday March 8, the people of Michigan will literally determine the future of the world.
Every political analyst agrees that Michigan is now the crucial state, the state which will determine the outcome, in the 2016 race for the presidency of the United States. Tonight’s debate in Flint, Michigan, knowing that both Sanders and Clinton are fully aware of the ultimate and final stakes involved, could surpass the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates’ notoriety and historical significance in textbooks young people study for generations to come.
In Michigan, on Tuesday March 8, 2016 the stakes could not be any higher. For supporters of Bernie Sanders, their hopes lie in the Vermont Senator’s finally shedding his “nice guy” image, “taking off the gloves”, and unleashing an overwhelming oratory pummeling of Hillary Clinton over their sharply different histories and political philosophies.
U.S. trade policies and major agreements, particularly the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed into law by Bill Clinton – in the state where Detroit was once called “the auto capitol of the world” – will most assuredly become a major issue for voters deciding in Michigan. Mr. Sanders’ ability to convey to the people of Michigan the stark contrast between himself and Ms. Clinton on NAFTA and other major trade deals, the source of high resentment for people as the state’s auto industry became decimated when thousands of jobs were shipped to Mexico, will be essential for his chances of winning.
Another issue of import for people living in Michigan relates to the environment, where Sanders can emphasize the recent world-publicized Flint water crisis in distinguishing his environmental record and proposals as they contrast to Clinton’s. While talking about the environment, Flint, and the different environmental visions of the two candidates, Bernie Sanders has the tactical option of tying issues of the environment, labor, Wall Street corruption, multinational corporations, NAFTA and the TransPacific Partnership to Hillary Clinton’s still unreleased transcripts of highly paid speeches – behind closed doors – to Goldman Sachs and other banking/corporate giants.
The eyes of the world are on Michigan in the United States of America.