[Guest Contributor - Donald G. Mutersbaugh, Sr.]
“I send my messenger before you….”
One day when I was reading the Bible and meditating, I thought I would go back and reread the book of Mark. As I read the opening passage about John the Baptist, I was struck by this opening passage. Given the power of our Heavenly Father, why didn't Jesus just come as a mandate? Why was it necessary to “… send my messenger before you ….”?
There are significant spiritual ramifications to this event; the primary purpose was to prepare the world for the coming of the Son of God. However, this is more than a religious lesson. It is also an interesting question because it suggests a level of understanding that transcends the religious implications. It actually discloses a management issue and how to work with others by laying the foundation for a much larger event that is yet to happen.
I had mentioned in a previous blog (12/13/2012) that the Republican Party needs a paradigm shift. Today, after watching another month of incompetence, I am more convinced than ever that something has to be done – or else Republican Party will become so marginalized as to make this country a one-party system. Until the “leaders” of the Republican Party subordinate their own personal interests and bloviating and focus on what is necessary and good for the people of the United States of America, we will have continual confusion and lack of direction for the conservatives in this country. There is no platform, no game plan, and no direction on how the Republican Party might capture the Senate in 2014 much less the presidency in 2016. I don't know, but maybe there is activity going on behind the scenes. If so, I would strongly suggest that these ideas manifest themselves now in a general discussion: people tend to support, that which they help create. I learned this management principle when I was a teenager; it is as true today as it was then.
In my previous blog I indicated that one of the primary problems the Republican Party has today is communication: there is none. In a blog by Scot Faulkner (1/18/2013), he asks the very relevant question: “How did you spend the last 806 days?” The Republican Party answer appears to be in handwringing, unfocused sound bites, and obstructionism – the result of not having a cogent plan on the direction the Republican Party should be taking. Communication is one of man’s greatest assets; planning – setting goals, developing strategies, and defining tasks and schedules to accomplish goals – is another. Right now the Republican Party is in crisis and needs both planning and communication.
I currently believe that America is like a transmission in a car, and the country is shifting gears. The clutch is in, and the gear choices are liberal or conservative. When the clutch is disengaged, the country will again begin moving: the question is in which direction? To give credit where credit is due, the liberals have done an excellent job in capturing the majority of the population – or so it would seem. Will the country engage in a cyclical swing and by itself move to a conservative position – a kind of political hysteresis? Possibly. But it would make a lot more sense if the Republican Party could restructure itself (i.e., a paradigm shift) to recognize that the country has changed; far right thinking needs to be moderated, and a new message of inclusion needs to be articulated. Franklin Roosevelt once said: “Wise and prudent men – intelligent conservatives – have long known that in a changing world worthy institutions can be conserved only by adjusting them to the changing time.” It's kind of sad that the Republican Party has to get this kind of message from one of the most liberal presidents of our time; it's almost like a taunt.
The theme of this blog started: “I send my messenger before you….” I would suggest that the Party’s focus be on the presidency in 2016; there is an overwhelming inertia that must be overcome to convince the electorate that the Republican Party has indeed been reformed and is now the best party to represent “we, the people.” The way that this is going to happen is by a qualified leader within the Republican Party taking the reins and standing up to the establishment and saying “I'm going to lead this party and make it the overwhelming choice of the people of the United States.” This person will have to have the leadership, charisma, and communication skills to convincingly implement a strategy that actually has robust, well defined ideas and plans to bring the United States back into prominence. This person will probably not be a candidate for the presidency in 2016; they are excluded almost by definition of what their mission is within this context: establish the infrastructure that will put a Republican in the White House in 2016. Any gains that can be gleaned in the 2014 interim elections would be a bonus; success or failure might also be reflective of whether or not this strategy is working to bring about the change that is necessary to save the Republican Party and conservatism. Einstein's famous definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. We have had enough insanity – it's time to move on.
Donald G. Mutersbaugh, Sr. earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and his Master of Business Administration degree from Mary Washington College. He is the former Associate Administrator of Information Resources for the U.S House of Representatives under Speaker Newt Gingrich.