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Auchter's Art: Staying relevant

John Auchter for Michigan Public

In truth, I don't believe that Michigan journalists are conspiring to keep Michigan a swing state. Like all folks in media these days, simply trying to survive is more than a full-time job. So I'm sure they appreciate presidential candidates coming to our state to share their visions (or their bile) — it makes for news that directly pertains to their readers/viewers. But the Michigan media certainly doesn't have the capacity to orchestrate it.

No, we can thank the Electoral College for all this. Our Founding Fathers may have had the best of intentions, but there was so much that they couldn't have anticipated, especially the two-party system. That part wasn't at all by design but has become the de facto standard for most of our history. As a consequence, if one party dominates state politics, all the votes for that state predictably go to the candidate of that party.

But however you feel about the Electoral College, I think we all can agree that it makes certain states — so-called swing states or battleground states — more relevant than others. Michigan is one of them, and, on the whole, that's at least better than not being relevant. Or to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, "There is only one thing in politics worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

Editor's note: John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Public, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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