Canary in the Coal Mine

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I often look up the headlines on the Internet every day. Even as an apolitical, non-partisan observer, I try to stay abreast of the political events and major policy issues that are the subject of lively debate during any U.S. election.

Among the rare stories I’ve read this season, I found this POLITICO profile of Elissa Slotkin, a Michigan democrat who would not have won her most competitive race in the country. This is where the headline of this post comes from. She would have been willing to lose, her stated scheme was “lose better.”

I hope that Michigan is the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country, and that it’s the beginning of a statement that the politics of division will not cut it anymore.

– Ellissa Slotkin from PLOITICO

While knocking on doors, Ms. Slotkin stumbled upon a non-partisan voter who apparently did not get to vote this season. Ms Slotkin reportedly empathized with the man and said:

How she’d grown up in a household with a Republican dad and a Democrat mom where the family fought about sports, yes, but never politics. “It was never angry the way it is now”. And observed that no one, besides politicians, gets to be an extremist at work and keep their job. She assured him she was a pragmatist, citing her membership in the House’s bipartisan Problem-Solvers Caucus, and that her tendency to get yelled at by both sides.

– From POLITICO

The man was reportedly semi-persuaded but noncommittal and replied: “If you can bring the sides together a little bit and have a conversation…”

When the seat was declared, Slotkin reportedly said “I personally believe that Michigan and other places demonstrated that we’re coming back to a more practical and reasonable approach to electing officials. What I can do is win.”