Our History Demands Better than Kid Rock for Senate
Believing that the Kid Rock for Senate shadow campaign should be successful – believing that Kid Rock has a place in the Senate – shows nothing but contempt for the Founding Fathers. Those who created the Senate envisioned a prestigious chamber dominated by political and social elites – those versed in policy, eloquent in speech, and able to create a deliberative chamber removed from the tempests of public will. The Senate would inspire awe; the country’s finest would fill its ranks and act as true patricians debating on behalf of the states and the country, controlling foreign policy, checking the easily-swayed House of Representatives, and preventing the president from acquiring undue power.
For a while, the senators fulfilled that vision. Foreign observers such as Alexis de Tocqueville idolized and heralded the American Senate. Citizens, too, had the utmost admiration for the body. Visitors often filled the galleys for speeches by renowned orators – schoolchildren later memorized these very speeches. Ideas and compromises flowed as great statesmen rose from their desks and embraced the dreams of the Founders.
The Senate has since fallen from its glory. Corrupt actors have mangled the Senate’s image through demagoguery, process destruction, and using the Senate as a post-Reconstruction and Civil Rights Era tool to maintain systemic white supremacy, especially in the South. These disgraces, though largely a thing of the past, tarnished the chamber’s image, and rightfully so.
Today’s senators have done little to restore the body to its former glory. Senators act as puppets of their president. Voters, too, bear a lion’s share of the blame: They fail to treat the Senate with the seriousness it deserves, which leads to the election of eggheads and process destruction (Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has abused the Senate’s long-standing process during his tenure and has faced no backlash from those charged with holding him accountable).
Voters fail to understand the purpose of the Senate (and, for that matter, the presidency). Political incursions by know-nothing hobbyists have devalued elected offices and encouraged voters to treat elections as sports and games, not serious matters with long-lasting repercussions (see: Donald Trump’s election). Such hobbyism among those seeking prestige, power, and profit should be restrained by voters, but instead voters, not taking the Senate seriously, flirt with ludicrous candidates.
Michigan voters exemplify just that. Kid Rock, profane and ungifted musician who knows nothing about politics, let alone public policy – a hobbyist looking for money whose political ramblings should never be taken seriously – has teased a possible Senate run and already voters have rallied behind the blowhard. A Trafalgar Group poll found him leading a hypothetical matchup with incumbent Debbie Stabeow by 3 points (49-46). Kid Rock has no campaign, no discernible policies, and no reason to run for office. He’s the antithesis of our Founders’ vision for the Senate.
So why do people lust for the idea of Senator Rock? Because in their delusions of populist supremacy – in the grips of the death of expertise – voters think perceived elites should be scorned while ignorant fools (that is, people who sound like the average voter) supported and touted as the American political ideal. But that’s idiotic. We have elites for a reason. Politics is not easy – nor should it be. Our country needs public servants committed to the Constitution, to fighting for their constituents and the country as a whole, and to serving selflessly. We need senators that fit the elitist chamber purposefully created by the Founding Fathers.
Republican officeholders and party leaders must also be ravaged for their role in promoting pathetic political hobbyism and degrading our once-valued and estimable institutions. Worthless Vichy Republicans fell in line behind Donald Trump, a true demagogue, bigot, and obvious threat to liberal democracy and our existing democratic institutions. That didn’t stop them. Rick Perry, who called Trump a “cancer on conservatism,” now serves in Trump’s cabinet.
This trend continues with Kid Rock. Texas governor and human abomination Greg Abbott loves the idea of “shaking up Washington” by electing Kid Rock. Former New York governor and brief presidential afterthought George E. Pataki also endorsed Kid Rock for Senate. Pataki’s support makes no sense considering he has no future in electoral politics. In other words, he has nothing to gain by supporting Rock; without ulterior motive, it may simply be concluded that Pataki, too, has failed to study our founding.
Anyone who’s studied our history and cares about our institutions would be embarrassed to support Kid Rock for Senate. And yet here we are, awaiting the decision of a fool, one that could see a further tragic American political development and a new low point in the Senate’s fall from grace.