Michigan's problems are becoming embarrassingly legendary. Deepening deficits, rising unemployment, partisan rancor, do-nothing government, special-interest favoritism. The list goes on and on.
Republicans enjoy blaming outgoing Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat. Clearly, she and both houses of the state Legislature and both parties have accomplished little. But just as certainly the problems of the past few years — deficits, political obstruction, etc. — are rooted in the mean-spiritedness of the dozen years of the administration of former Gov. John Engler.
Still, hope springs eternal. And this year it lies with the vision of better tomorrows being articulated by Rick Snyder, the Republican candidate for governor.
Frankly, Snyder is a breath of fresh air and we recommend his election.
To win the GOP nomination last summer, he outsmarted the regular politicians in his party by taking his campaign to the people. And he's deftly handled his unfocused general election opponent, Virg Bernero, the Democratic mayor of Lansing whose vision of Michigan's future seems hopelessly mired in the past.
Snyder's low-key persona and his results-oriented, business-like approach to governing is encouraging. He's offered voters a well-thought-out 10-point prescription for solving the state's problems. The plan includes specific ideas on creating jobs, reforming the tax structure, health care, and education, retaining young people in the state, restoring Michigan's urban areas, improving the state's image nationally and internationally, and protecting the environment.
Cynics will argue that every candidate for governor puts forth a "plan" that's going to work miracles. But after election day and reality sets in nothing gets done. The same old political rancor returns and hope fades.
To be sure, Snyder's resume includes very little time in government. For the most part, his experience is in business. And only time will tell whether he'll be able to tame the system and get anything done.
But his proposals are well-researched and they have merit. His style is refreshing.
In the final analysis, we have very little to lose by trying a new course with Rick Snyder. Failure is getting old.