Spring begins in Whitewater with mostly cloudy skies, an occasional shower, and a high of fifty. Sunrise is 6:56 AM and sunset 7:07 PM, for 12h 10m 53s of daytime. The moon is full with 99.5% of its visible disk illuminated.
Whitewater’s Parks and Rec Board meets at 5:30 PM.
On this day in 1854, the Republican Party is founded in Ripon, Wisconsin:
The meeting’s organizer, Alvan E. Bovay, proposed the name “Republican” which had been suggested by New York editor Horace Greeley. You can see eyewitness accounts of the meeting, early Republican campaign documents, and other original sources on our page devoted to Wisconsin and the Republican Party. Though other places have claimed themselves as the birthplace of the Republican Party, this was the earliest meeting held for the purpose and the first to use the term Republican.
Recommended for reading in full:
Robert Kagan writes The strongmen strike back:
Of all the geopolitical transformations confronting the liberal democratic world these days, the one for which we are least prepared is the ideological and strategic resurgence of authoritarianism. We are not used to thinking of authoritarianism as a distinct worldview that offers a real alternative to liberalism. Communism was an ideology — and some thought fascism was, as well — that offered a comprehensive understanding of human nature, politics, economics and governance to shape the behavior and thought of all members of a society in every aspect of their lives.
We believed that “traditional” autocratic governments were devoid of grand theories about society and, for the most part, left their people alone. Unlike communist governments, they had no universalist pretensions, no anti-liberal “ideology” to export. Though hostile to democracy at home, they did not care what happened beyond their borders. They might even evolve into democracies themselves, unlike the “totalitarian” communist states. We even got used to regarding them as “friends,” as strategic allies against the great radical challenges of the day: communism during the Cold War, Islamist extremism today.
Like so many of the theories that became conventional wisdom during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, however, this one was mistaken. Today, authoritarianism has emerged as the greatest challenge facing the liberal democratic world — a profound ideological, as well as strategic, challenge. Or, more accurately, it has reemerged, for authoritarianism has always posed the most potent and enduring challenge to liberalism, since the birth of the liberal idea itself. Authoritarianism has now returned as a geopolitical force, with strong nations such as China and Russia championing anti-liberalism as an alternative to a teetering liberal hegemony. It has returned as an ideological force, offering the age-old critique of liberalism, and just at the moment when the liberal world is suffering its greatest crisis of confidence since the 1930s. It has returned armed with new and hitherto unimaginable tools of social control and disruption that are shoring up authoritarian rule at home, spreading it abroad and reaching into the very heart of liberal societies to undermine them from within.