Detroit Regional Chamber > Advocacy > A View From the Right: Republican Leaders Discuss Current and Future Democracy

A View From the Right: Republican Leaders Discuss Current and Future Democracy

April 11, 2024

Top Takeaways

  • Election integrity and certification is good for business and the economy. 
  • Business leaders are encouraged to use their influence to promote civil discourse. 

On April 8, the Detroit Regional Chamber hosted Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) and Dave Trott, former U.S. Representative and Michigan Advisory Council Member of Keep Our Republic, who spoke about the unconventional threats facing the U.S. and Michigan election systems and how to strengthen trust in electoral processes. Detroit Regional Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Sandy K. Baruah moderated the discussion.

On Spearheading Voting Integrity and Civil Discourse

Much of the conversation revolved around Trott and McBroom’s leadership in promoting election integrity and civil discourse. Trott explained his work on the non-partisan Keep Our Republic and expressed his concerns about talking to election deniers.

“When you look at what happened on Jan. 6, it’s an organization that’s more relevant today than ever,” he said. “There’s something going on that’s much deeper than just the 2020 Election; I think the ‘MAGA’ folks … are really buying into nationalism in America. And it’s really a bad thing for our country. … it’s very difficult to have a conversation with someone who believes the election was stolen because the person is not operating in reality, in my opinion.”

Conversations Are Productive, But Slow

As the Michigan Senate’s Oversight Committee Chair, McBroom is especially familiar with the November 2020 Election and appreciates having “good, deep conversation about the specifics” by sharing the Committee’s November 2020 Election report results to help answer questions. While there are items to improve on, such as a swifter system to catch double voting, McBroom said Michiganders should be “confident” in the report’s conclusion and the voting system’s safeguards.

“While there have been a lot of changes and things that happened on Election Day that can be seen as problematic or there was some serious confusion, the results were accurate,” McBroom said. “I find that most of the folks [I talk to] really have genuine concerns and haven’t had opportunity to get out of their [go-to] sources. I find it productive, but it’s also very slow because it’s just one person [at a time] with me.”

How Leaders Can – and Should – Promote Civil Discourse

Promoting civil discourse is good business and takes the full community’s efforts. Therefore, Trott and McBroom highly encourage business and government leaders to promote civil discourse and reliable information to their surrounding communities through op-eds, dispelling false information, and even hosting information sessions with candidates in the workplace.

“Chamber members, as an aside, should be concerned about election integrity and the certification of the presidential election because I think about how your business will be affected in the stock market and consumer confidence in the economy,” Trott said. “You want to make sure you’re supporting people … who have a reasonable, pragmatic approach to solving problems and have a track record of proving that it’s not all a partisan team in Lansing.”

McBroom concurred, adding criticism to sore losers who cause panic and additional dysfunction. He shared that even if “worlds are turned upside down” with unfavorable election results, that he “does the best he can do with what he can do.”

“The tribalism we see within the parties and within the legislative bodies is very much just emblematic of the actual privatism that we have,” McBroom said. “No matter how much I yell and scream [about losing an election], I’m actually wasting my time and can do other things to be productive with my time. If we, as leaders, can show, ‘Hey, I don’t like this, but I’m not going to fall apart,’ it can be a great show of our time.”

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