Constitutionalist, Anti-globalist Agenda Dominates Michigan GOP Convention
By Robert Owens
In Michigan, being an unapologetic constitutionalist and uncompromising warrior against the globalist conspiracy seeking to destroy America is required to be considered for political leadership in the Republican Party. On February 17 and 18 in Lansing, the Michigan Republican Party held their 2023 State Convention for the purpose of electing a new party chairman and statewide leadership.
The outcome was the neoconservative wing of the party being ripped out by the root. Anyone even suspected of being willing to do business with the neoconservatives was replaced. Only hardened, proven, and dedicated constitutionalists needed apply, and no amount of outside celebrity influence was going to make a difference. “This is a whole new world of opportunity,” said Mark Forton, the Macomb County GOP chairman and de facto leader of the hardline constitutionalist movement in Michigan.
The headline of the convention was the election of Kristina Karamo as the new chairwoman of the state party. Karamo came into the convention as the darling of the grassroots movement, but was labeled as “too inflexible” by the big-money-lobbyist establishment wing of the party, who made it clear that should Karamo win, they would pull all finances and support from the party.
The acrimony caused by the establishment Republicans led to an often-hostile environment in preliminary district caucus meetings held to elect key positions such as the state executive committee and district leadership teams. Such meetings typically take an hour or two, but this convention saw some caucus meetings drag out past midnight. Dozens of delegates were spotted with Robert’s Rules of Order laminated pages made up to look like NFL play-calling charts. In the end, candidates that adhere to constitutionalism and anti-globalism won in clean-sweep fashion statewide. “We won it all. I am so proud of our team. We will demand adherence to the Constitution and fight the globalist elite,” said Darlene Doetzel, a Karamo campaign insider, well-respected grassroots political powerhouse, longtime state GOP committeewoman, and delegate from the 10th Congressional District.
Anticipating a possible takeover of the party by grassroots activists, the neoconservatives led by outgoing Chairman Ron Weiser made sure to gut the party prior to turning over the keys. By all accounts, the Michigan Republican Party will be a “full rehab” project from the foundation up, being turned over financially broken in every way possible. The prior officers made like ghosts the entire conference, presumably to dodge questions about their obvious malfeasance and failure. Among other things, Karamo pledged to financially audit the prior party administration.
The November 2022 election saw the Michigan Republican Party lose every statewide office and lose control of both houses of the Legislature for the first time in 40 years, and saw abortion on demand for minors enshrined in the Michigan Constitution by overwhelming popular vote. “I received virtually no support from the State Party,” noted Dr. Mike Aiello, a Macomb County Republican who lost a narrow statehouse race to a massively funded Democrat in a “purple” district. Candidates like Aiello were only able to stay competitive because of over-the-top efforts by grassroots activists such as JBS Assistant Chapter Leader and State Delegate Mercede Scargall. “She’s a warrior!” proclaimed Dr. Aiello with a wide smile.
Trump and Lindell Booed, Kari Lake Cancels
The importance of Michigan in national politics resulted in all the big names weighing in with endorsements — Donald Trump, Mike Lindell, Kari Lake, and others. However, this didn’t matter as much as having a solid reputation as a stalwart constitutionalist and anti-globalist.
Trump’s endorsement for state chairman was one-time election-integrity warrior Matt DePerno. However, right after DePerno won the primary election for Michigan’s attorney general, he changed positions and effectively abandoned pursuit of the truth of the 2020 stolen election, claiming there were now “more important” matters to address. He was labeled a turncoat by Michigan activists, and that wound never healed. In the end, the election was not even close; DePerno was soundly rejected, losing to Karamo by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent on the final ballot.
Trump’s tone-deaf endorsement yielded the most shocking moment of the weekend when thousands of Republicans, many of whom were wearing Trump hats, loudly booed the former president while the video of his endorsement of DePerno was playing on the big screen. After the Trump video played, Mark Forton, a key engineer of the weekend’s results, took the stage to argue in favor of Karamo and reminded the thousands of delegates, “We all love Donald Trump, but he doesn’t live here. He doesn’t know these people. You do.”
Mike Lindell, who also endorsed DePerno, must not have been well advised on the matter. Often looking like a deer in the headlights, he was loudly booed in several caucus rooms and got out of Lansing as fast as he could. Kari Lake canceled on DePerno at the last minute, and never even arrived in Lansing.
JBS Agenda in Action
The John Birch Society is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. As past JBS President Jack McManus was fond of saying, “Our members are so well educated, they don’t need anyone to tell them how to vote.” However, the high “political IQ” of JBS members and leaders often places them in positions of great influence, and they use the pro-American, constitutionalist agenda of the JBS to guide their approach to public policy implementation. This was a key element of JBS founder Robert Welch’s strategy.
While the convention started with an unprecedented field of 11 candidates to lead the state party, coming from wide, diverse backgrounds and geographic locations all over the state, the one thing they all agreed on was the existential threat posed by the globalist elite. “I have a copy of Robert Welch’s book The Politician,” noted GOP chairman candidate Kent Boersema during a conversation he was having about the dangers of Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum. Boersema is a well-respected, longtime Republican political operative from western Michigan whom many statehouse candidates consult for help digging into voter data to identify the best strategies for voter engagement. Known for his keen intellect, Boersema ran on a platform of engaging the grassroots with a message of freedom specifically geared at retaking the Michigan General Assembly.
On the floor of the convention, discussion of globalist influence in Republican politics and world affairs in general was far more common than any discussion of the Michigan vs. Michigan State basketball game that tipped off later that night. While two JBS members sitting as delegates in the 9th Congressional District area were discussing Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) influence in pushing the vaccine mandates, Michigan State Representative Josh Schriver (66th District) overheard from two rows away and yelled over, “Did I hear someone say Daniel Natal? I love his stuff!” (Daniel Natal is one of the talented commentators at The New American.)
Liberal Media Smear
Despite many intriguing story lines from the convention, the mainstream media reporting of the event was universally and overtly globalist in its coverage. The Detroit Free Press disposed of any shred of journalistic integrity to try for a cheap laugh. Their reporting focused on how one of the candidates for GOP chairman had a reception at a sports bar called “The Nut House.” Ironically, the “Nut House” reception was for the most establishment guy of the bunch. (To a liberal journalist, all Republicans must “look the same.”) The other media outlets demonstrated universal condemnation and ridicule of the Karamo election.
The most astute observation from the media desk was from one of the youngest members of the media pool, who noticed that the Democratic State Convention the week prior went smoothly, as the grassroots lined up very orderly behind the lobbyist money people and were happy in victory. In contrast, the Republican grassroots activists refused to follow the lobbyist lead, even if such refusal resulted in election losses.
Immediately after the convention concluded, Michigan State Representative Neil Friske (107th District) was found at the Soup Spoon Cafe, a jewel of a restaurant near the Capitol, along with GOP chairman hopeful Michael Farage, one of the candidates who did not make it past the first ballot. Both were very upbeat about the future of the party. Both understood the challenges they and their party faced from the globalist-aligned opposition. Representative Friske was especially appreciative of The John Birch Society’s message and agenda, saying, “My father was a Bircher when I was a kid. I remember the chapter meetings in our home.” When asked if his father, who was also an elected member of the Michigan Legislature, faced pushback for promoting the Birch agenda so many decades ago, Friske responded without hesitation: “It would not have mattered. My father was a man of principle.”
In 1958, Robert Welch argued that when a sufficient number of Americans understand the nature of the globalist oligarchical conspiracy that seeks to destroy our heritage of liberty and enslave our people, patriots will begin to rout the satanic conspiracy that has plagued our nation. Due in no insignificant part to the hard work and sacrifice of John Birch Society members over the past 65 years, that goal is closer than ever to realization in 2023. Perhaps it is no coincidence that at the same time a revival for Christ was taking place in Asbury, Kentucky, a political revival for the Constitution was underway in Michigan. Toward that end, Karamo stressed in her victory speech that she has one priority above all else: “I will put God first.”
Robert Owens, J.D. is the Program Director for The John Birch Society. Prior to joining the JBS staff, he spent 20 years as a trial lawyer and 10 years as a member of the JBS National Council.
Published with permission of thenewamerican.com