LETTER: A letterbox with the inscription Letter to the editor

There have been a few “awakenings” in our past. The 17th century “Great Awakening” had to do with religious revival and a broadening of religious tolerance and democratic ideals.   

Recently, people have become “awoke” to racial injustice and sexual/gender dysphoria. The jury is still out on the efficacy of this movement.   

Fewer people are aware of the “Wide Awakes” movement of the late 1850s. This was a branch of the new Republican Party working to elect Abraham Lincoln. They were young (20s and 30s) folks who were anti-slavery and very pro-Union. They marched, wore black outfits, “discouraged” hecklers at outdoor rallies and grew to 100,000 strong. No property damage or police abuse reported.   

Imagine that. Republicans standing up for the disenfranchised against Democratic pro-slavery politicians. Opportunity zones, pro school choice policies, the largest subsidy to historically black colleges and the highest black, Hispanic and women employment numbers in history are the most recent outcomes of good Republican efforts. 

Mike Straight 




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