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Stateside Podcast: Peter Meijer's political evolution

Courtesy of "With Honor"
Writer Tim Alberta said that Peter Meijer was a bit of a "political romantic" when he was sworn into Congress last January. The Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol started to shift his perspective.

The game changed for a lot of people on Jan. 6th, 2021 — maybe for no one more than West Michigan Republican Congressman Peter Meijer.

The freshman congressman represents Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Grand Rapids and Battle Creek. He’s part of the family whose name is on grocery stores all over Michigan. He's also an Army veteran and a Republican.

Tim Alberta, a staff writer at The Atlantic, recently wrote a deep-dive profile on Meijer, and he told us when Meijer first entered office, he was a bit of a "political romantic" despite America's bitter partisan divisions.

"Despite all of the doom and gloom around him entering office, he's still fundamentally optimistic," explained Alberta. "And really believes that he's coming to Washington to help solve some of these big problems and help get the country back on track."

But, just three days into his new job, a mob of pro-Trump protesters broke through police barricades and stormed the Capitol. Meijer and other members of Congress had to be escorted out of the building through underground tunnels.

"And suddenly his view of the place, and his view of America, quite frankly, begins to change."

Hear more about how the Capitol insurrection has shaped Meijer's first year in office above.

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April Van Buren is a producer for <i>Stateside</i>. She produces interviews for air as well as web and social media content for the show.