I woke up groggily the other Monday (I believe it was Nov. 26) to the TV news babe commenting something or other about a new bill our very own Governor Snyder had signed into law.
Eyes closed, but ears opened, I thought I heard the sad news, delivered way too cheerily, “It’s official! Governor Snyder has signed a law — residents of Michigan are now officially Michiganders.”
WHAT THE . . .?
I shot up straight in bed, awake, alert and on point. I focused my adrenaline-fueled attention to the television news. Alas, it was too late. They had gleefully moved on to the next sorta’ news item.
Michi-schmackin’ frackin’-gander. Me?!
How do I impeach The Gov this minute? Now, before his term ends next year? Read my lips, “I am not a goose. I do not squawk like one. As a resident of Michigan, I am a Michiganian. We are not Michiganders!”
Except now, by the swipe of a hand, behind closed doors and with secret, backroom deals, we are.
Say it ain’t so!
Way back in 2010, I voiced my concerns. I publicly, and in print, pointed out the error in then candidate Rick Snyder’s use of the term “Michigander.” Actually, both he and his Democrat adversary (Virg Bernero) continuously insulted Michigan residents whenever they said, “Michigander.”
Even after Snyder was elected, for about a year, I would send messages to his office whenever he used the derogatory term. “Dear Governor, the term is Michiganian. Michigander is a not a term of endearment, in fact it is just the opposite . . . blah, blah, blah.”
Deaf ears. Blind eyes. My messages obviously were sent straight to the garbage. You know, I almost forgot about Snyder’s misuse of Michigander, until I heard the news that fateful Monday morning. I am, or was, surprised I had not heard rumblings of this atrocity actually being considered in Lansing. Blasted! It was signed into law before I could even stand on my soapbox and rail against the legislative obscenity.
Still in bed, I looked up to the heavens, clinched my fists in rage and screamed to nobody and everybody, “Curses!”
Thankfully, age has mellowed your hero (that would be me) and instead of tweeting something like the other “Donald” who likes to go to Twitter for good or ill, I held my cool. I waited. Meditated, “ohm . . .”
Today (Dec. 4), I jumped on the information highway and found an article in the Detroit Free Press dated Nov. 25 by Kathleen Gray. Wrote she, “Are you a Michigander or a Michiganian?
“In the eyes of the state Legislature, Michigander is the official term for the residents of Michigan and they have a bill that passed unanimously in both the House and Senate this week to prove it.
“Tucked into an obscure package of bills that modernizes the 1913 statute creating the Michigan Historical Commission is a passage that strikes out a reference to Michiganians in favor of Michiganders.”
Just as I thought, the bill was “tucked away into an obscure package of bills” and passed unanimously in both houses. Dangblabit! Can’t trust Democrats or Republicans. Awesome.
Didn’t they know, or did they not care? Don’t they know the term Michigander was coined by those hooligans in Ohio over 180 years ago? That’s when Michigan was en route to become the 26th state of the Union. We petitioned to have our southern border go down to about Toledo, Ohio. Which, didn’t make Ohioans too happy. The Ohio-Michigan War of 1835 ensued (oaky, it is technically called the Toledo War, but I digress). In the end, they won Toledo (we got the Upper Peninsula as a runner-up prize), we complained, they said we squawked like geese and called us Michiganders. Some say Honest Abe Lincoln (then a Congressman from Illinois) was the first to insult Michigan in 1848, with the term Michigander. I, and others say it was about 12 years earlier.
The fact remains: It was an insult.
And, now our lame duck governor gets the last laugh by actually changing the law, striking from the history books the simple fact Michigan residents were officially called “Michiganians.”
The dastardly act of wasting hard-earned taxpayer money to change this saddens me. Political shenanigans, I say!
But, since I am writing this on #GoodDeedsForZach day (December 4), I am going to forgive our governor, Rick Snyder. It is the nice thing to do. (It doesn’t mean I have to forget, though.) Send your comments for that old-schooler Don to DontRushDon@gmail.com