Back To Birth For Re-Birth

Back To Birth For Re-Birth


(one of the birthplaces, in Michigan, summer 1854)

Quick thoughts on what the past offers to the present state of disarray in the Republican Party.

1. Go back to the birth of the Republican Party in the mid-1850s for some surprising lessons for 2023 and beyond. Re-birth will look a lot like birth.

2. Substance and direction came from the outside-in and the bottom-up. National figures figured less in what emerged as the Republican Party. State and local mattered more.

3. Chaos and clarity co-exist. For most people, the chaos was blinding, deafening, and sense-depriving. It was hard to envision the path ahead. But for others, fewer in number though evident all the same, clarity was achieved amidst the chaos. These people–people who emerged as leaders–thought and spoke with clarity. If you wait for chaos to subside before you gain clarity, you’ll wait forever.

4. A small set of key issues were defining. These issues connected with the most basic aspects of daily life. Around these issues principles were built, values were crystallized, and momentum was discovered. These issues faced two directions–one was backward with roots in the past and the other was forward with hope and vitality for the future. Note: identifying these issues and everything that then followed with them did not, repeat did not, guarantee an end to conflict, tensions, or controversy.

5.  Victories and defeats ran side-by-side. Two traps were thus laid and were quick to ensnare anyone who was stumbling thoughtlessly or recklessly along–the temptation to read too much into victory often led to disappointment, while the temptation to become overly discouraged in defeat often resulted in resentment.

Remember my three pillars in using history: the past and history are two different things; life acts like a river in that time, like the current, only moves forward from where it was a second, a minute, an hour, etc ago; and it is rhyming, not repetition, that connects the past to the present and future (if you want to understand the construct of historical rhyming, read The Raven or any other good poem).

For those interested in exploring further, contact me via text message at 317-407-3687.

(You on Your River)