Are you a fan of Christian theocratic dictatorships? Did you watch or read The Handmaid's Tale and think "Hm, Gilead might be a tight place to live"?
Well then do we have the political candidate for you. Say hello to the guy running to replace Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow: a Trump-aligned Republican who apparently believes it's time for Christian men to fulfill their God-given role of helping along the inferior sex.
In a speech given in May before dozens of white men who belong to the Michigan chapter of the Christian Business Men's Connection, guy-trying-to-replace-Stabenow speaks fervently of men's duty to lead. To the passive listener, the 13-minute speech may seem benign; it's comprised partly of anecdotes about a business-savvy father who overcame adversity to run a big company. But the message is also laced with dog whistles for the #MAGA set — you know, folks who yearn for a time when men wore the pants and believe success can only be bred by the traditional family unit.
Honestly, if guy-trying-to-replace-Stabenow weren't down in the polls by double digits ahead of a midterm election in which a blue wave is anticipated, we might actually be terrified.
Here are some of the highlights from his speech:
"Where are the men? Where are the Christian men? Where is that foundation of leadership that we are charged from the very beginning to lead with? The very foundation of our country has been God, and up on that, family — to make sure that we are able to propagate more success economically and in terms of strength ... and continually to pass the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, but we have overwhelmingly retreated. Christian men have shirked from our responsibility both here and abroad to lead effectively according to certain core values.
"And the men in this room — we have to make sure we are just as vocal and just as passionate as the people who would seek to tear down families and tear down our country.
"We have an obligation to future generations to make sure that we are operating within the role that we have to lead and yes that is not politically correct, but men," [slaps table between next words for emphasis] "we have a charge to lead! And we are failing in that because we are afraid to hurt someone's feelings.
"The fact of the matter is women want men who've been tested and boys need to be tested and we are those examples and so this falls solidly on our shoulders to ensure that we are the Christian business leaders and the men that we must have in order to make sure that subsequent generations have the blessings that we have today."
One thing's for sure, guy-trying-to-replace-Stabenow knows his audience: The Christian Business Men's Connection is "an international ministry helping people take faith into the marketplace and into the workplace," a southeast Michigan chapter leader tells us. And by "people," the chapter leader means "men."
The Michigan Democratic Party has slammed Stabenow's rival for the remarks, seizing on the portion of the speech where he says "women want men who've been tested."
"John James is wrong to assume he knows what Michigan women want," says MDP chair Brandon Dillon. "He clearly did not ask the powerful Democratic women running across Michigan who have 'been tested' and are 'charged to lead' our state."
There are a historic number of women candidates running for office around the country this year, partly in response to the misogynistic, accused-sexual harasser running this country who, we should add, has made people like guy-trying-to-replace-Stabenow feel comfortable vocalizing their most backward views. In Michigan, all of the Democratic candidates running for statewide office are women.
In an emailed statement, the would-be theocrat's campaign manager tried to spin the remarks into a positive.
"John James was talking to a male group about what it’s like for fathers to stay in the family and for men to lead — an issue that disproportionately impacts economically depressed and minority communities," says campaign manager Tori Sachs.
"John James chose a female campaign manager to manage his team because he respects leadership capabilities, regardless of gender," Sachs added, speaking in the third person. "John James served with female officers, some who were his superior."
Donald Trump has endorsed guy-trying-to-replace-Stabenow. VP Mike Pence was recently in Michigan stumping for him.
Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.