There are some matters in a democracy worthy of protest and demonstrations. Restrictions on non essential businesses and a stay at home order are not. Especially at this point in time.
Two days ago, Lansing, Michigan was home to a significant protest. Thousands involved.
Lansing is Michigan’s capital.
Cars clogged the streets surrounding Capital buildings. Resulting in the streets being constantly jammed. From my perspective, the protest a little too much. Horns blaring. More walked. Some carried assault rifles. Protesters estimated in the thousands.
The demonstration was planned for 2 hours. It lasted nearly 8.
Michigan is having a difficult time with coronavirus. It is ranked #3 in the nation regarding the virus’ impact. Confirmed cases number 27,000, deaths 1,099.
Michigan’s Governor is Gretchen Witmer. A Democrat. Obviously not liked by the protesters. The protest was a planned one. Not spontaneous.
Shouts of “recall Witmer” and “lock her up” were constant.
Some protesters wore Trump gear.
The protest was labeled Operation Gridlock.
It reflected more a political rally rather than a protest against a stay at home order.
Behind the protest was the Michigan Conservative Coalition. The group was listed as a co-sponsor. It has strong ties with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her family. The Coalition is funded in large part by the DeVos family.
Whether a political rally, a health protest, or a get me back to work one, the entire scene was too much. Especially the assault rifles. One errant shot or one car running into a non involved person and it would have been blood on the street time.
The DeVos family is probably the most influential Republican family in Michigan and one of the leading ones nationally.
Betsy DeVos is 62. Presently Secretary of Education.
Her father was a billionaire industrialist. In 2016, Forbes listed the DeVos family as the 88th richest in the U.S. Wealth estimated at $5.4 billion.
Betsy has long been involved in Republican politics. Served as Chairperson of the Michigan Republican Party. A staunch conservative. An equally staunch evangelical.
Betsy openly admits she is out to destroy the public school system and replace it with privatization. She claims she wants to use schools to build “God’s Kingdom.”
Her political credentials are worthy of note. She is recognized as a “political pit bull” and a good fund raiser. She and her family are reported to have donated $17 million to Republicans since 1989.
Forbes also lists noteworthy charitable givers. In 2015, Betsy and her husband Dick through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation donated $11.6 million to charitable causes.
Dick and Betsy have donated to charities over their lifetime a total of $139 million. Dick by he way is heir to the Amway fortune and a billionaire in his own right.
Betsy openly concedes that her family buys influence.
In 2010, she and her husband donated $22.5 million to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The bequest represents the largest donation in the Kennedy Center’s history.
Betsy’s brother Erik Prince is a person of influence and affluence also. He made his fortune with mercenary forces. He was the founder of Blackwater USA. The private military service contractor. He is still in business, though under other names.
The family’s affluence is reflected in the fact they own 10 yachts world wide.
SeaQuest is purportedly Betsy’s favorite. Generally moored on Lake Erie. One hundred sixty four feet long. Purchased in 2018 for $40 million.
I have taken the time to introduce Betsy and her family. Not only of significant political influence in Michigan. Also nationally. Strong Trump supporters.
My motivation for writing the blog based on my belief that the results of the Michigan coronavirus situation were not worthy of the April 15 protest.
Enjoy your day!