Article in the Lansing State Journal

Why do I love Michigan?

Sometimes I ask myself that question. It’s not always easy. Some of our cities are in tough shape. The roads are a mess. The weather can go from zero to 60 and back again almost as fast as a Cadillac ATS — car of the year, if you haven’t heard.

But maybe that’s it. Despite challenges, we do some pretty amazing things here.

Nearly half of our state’s economy comes from building, growing and moving things. My alma mater is working to build the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a facility that has the potential to transform how we perceive the fundamental makeup of our universe. We have the best skiing in the Midwest. Most states can’t make those claims. That’s possible because people in Michigan work hard. Every day.

So maybe it’s the people. I think we’re a little old-fashioned at times. People here value family, education and hard work. We still think that if you work hard, treat people with respect and deal fairly, you’re living the right life.

capitolIt’s that network of good people that makes Michigan a place of opportunity. It’s a place where you can lose everything in an instant, find love, find God, find your feet again, and make something of yourself. I’ve been there and so have many other Michiganders. But beside the cars, cherries and snowmobiling, there is something else. Michigan is a place that needs the love. And I love it like a teacher loves a student, or a parent loves his child.

I see the incredible potential this state has. Less than two generations ago, we were one of the wealthiest places in the world. If we can make our policy match our people — that is, if state policy were to emphasize education, deal fairly, reward hard work and invest in long-term goals — we have a shot at making some great things happen.