I’m leaving the state of Indiana in a few weeks for family reasons. As part of that departure, I’m retiring the Hoosier Nation project.
I have not given up the struggle, lost hope, or faltered in my duty to be the voice for a voiceless people. I must; regretfully, concede that the vision outlined in my Hoosier Nation booklet has not resonated as I had hoped with my friends, family, and fellow Hoosiers. I attribute a good share of blame for that failure to myself for a leadership and organizational failure on my part.
That being said, I do not wish to leave behind a zombie project. I’ve preached to my children for years that rapidly and effectively recovering from failures and missteps is a valuable life skill. I’ve also preached to them for years that frank appraisals of situations are necessary and constructive, even if they don’t feel like it at the time. Like most of us, I’m better at giving other people advice than taking my own advice. But I’m working on that.
I’m not being lazy when I claim that there are simply too many people who have contributed too much to this project to name. There are too many to name. And, of course, many of them would rather not be named! Some, myself included, have enjoyed opportunities to demonstrate simple and direct acts of courage in the face of our opponents. More importantly, in my opinion, dozens have contributed humble acts of anonymous volunteering to make various Hoosier Nation projects successful. Those memorable acts of defiance are priceless, but I’ll never forget the others who made those acts possible.
Our opponents will surely consider this a victory. Let them gloat. They’ve invested a considerable amount of effort in attempting to intimidate our members and the family members of our members. They’ve threatened to kill us. They’ve threatened to rape us. They’ve threatened to cut off assorted body parts. They’ve vandalized our venues and confused our employers. While I admittedly enjoy bickering with them, I truly don’t care how they react to this setback of mine. It’s not about them.
Personally, professionally, and politically, I’m in the midst of a major and rapid transformation. The Hoosier Nation project is one of the many major things that has to go. I anticipate being on a more solid footing to be a more effective advocate when the dust clears, and this step is a necessary one towards making room in my life for more ambitious and effective advocacy in the future.