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Key Speakers At Conservative Political Action Conference
Tudor Dixon, Republican gubernatorial candidate for Michigan, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Fla. on Feb. 25.Tristan Wheelock / Bloomberg via Getty Images, file

Why weird conspiracy theories from the GOP’s Tudor Dixon matter

Two years ago, Tudor Dixon said the Democratic Party wanted to “topple” the United States and enslave people. Now she wants to be Michigan's governor.


In Michigan’s gubernatorial race, Tudor Dixon has embraced some odd but important conspiracy theories. The Republican media personality, for example, has already said she believes Donald Trump was the rightful winner of the presidential election in Michigan two years ago, despite the actual results.

The GOP candidate, making her first attempt at elected office, also recently balked when asked whether she’s prepared to accept the results of this year’s elections.

But CNN yesterday highlighted an altogether different conspiracy theory from Dixon that was considerably more ridiculous.

The Republican gubernatorial nominee in Michigan invoked a conspiracy that the Covid-19 pandemic and protests in the summer of 2020 after the killing of George Floyd were part of a decades-long plan by the Democratic Party to “topple” the United States as retaliation for losing the US Civil War, adding that the party wanted to enslave people “again.”

I realize that in some campaigns, journalists and researchers sometimes dig up candidates’ obscure quotes from the distant past, but that’s really not the case in this instance: Dixon made these comments in late June 2020.

The Republican launched her campaign for governor less than a year later.

“The country today is divided, and this was the plan. It’s been in the works for years. The idea that you can topple the greatest country in the world. But to topple a country like the United States of America, you must be planning this for decades,” Dixon said at the time. “Why wouldn’t that come from the party that lost the Civil War? The party that wanted to own people because they viewed them as less than human? Do you think that the Democrats are over losing to the north?”

CNN’s report noted that Dixon went on to argue that Democrats used the pandemic and the killing of Floyd to divide the country and feed white people “white guilt” so they can assume power and “gladly own” and enslave people of all colors “again.”

Remember, Dixon said all of this out loud, on purpose, on the record, and in front of a microphone. Two years later, she hasn’t yet retracted any of her comments.

If your weird relatives who consume conservative media all day sent you an email with such ridiculous ideas, you’d probably worry a bit about their connection to reality. Indeed, Dixon’s rhetoric is more in line with what one might expect from unhinged GOP voices such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, not competitive gubernatorial candidates in battleground states.

And that’s ultimately what makes reports like this one from CNN so notable. Michigan is a big state with an economy significantly larger than Norway’s. Serving as Michigan’s chief executive is an important job, intended for those who take reality seriously.

Dixon has told the public quite a bit about her perspective and how she sees the world. None of it is encouraging.