[Vision2020] What would Lincoln say about today's GOP?

Art Deco art.deco.studios at gmail.com
Fri Apr 27 14:48:46 PDT 2012

*What would Lincoln say about today's GOP?*
 By Augustin Stucker, Special to HLN
updated 7:41 AM EDT, Fri April 27, 2012

   - Author Augustin Stucker says there are political parallels between
   2012 and 1860
   - Stucker says Abraham Lincoln wouldn't even recognize his Republican

    *Editor's Note: Augustin Stucker has been studying President Abraham
Lincoln for most of his life. He believes there are a number of comparisons
that can be made between today's politics and the era of Lincoln. In his
new book, "Lincoln & Davis <http://astucker.com/index.html>," Stucker says
the stark political events of their era are being replayed across today’s

If Abraham Lincoln were alive today he might not even recognize the
Republican Party.

When Lincoln first joined the GOP it was led by men -- then considered
radicals -- whose primary agenda was to free the slaves. Lincoln guided it
towards being a moderate progressive party with a wide appeal to the
majority of Americans, which helped him win the 1860 presidential election.
Of course, he was also inadvertently aided by the 1860 Democrats splitting
when conservative Southern Democrats attempted to hijack their party in
demanding slavery be allowed to expand nationwide.

In observing the Democrats’ split, Lincoln became very aware of the dangers
of a group seizing control of an entire party. When Radical Republicans
frequently attempted to strong-arm Lincoln into following their policies
alone and demonized conservative Republicans, Lincoln made it very clear he
and the party were responsible to *all *Americans:

“The radicals and conservatives, each agree with me in some things, and
disagree in others... I do not question their right... I hold whoever
commands...  responsible to me, and not to either radicals or
conservatives," Lincoln said, according to Don E. Fehrenbacher, author of
"Abraham Lincoln Speeches and Writings 1859-1865."

He refused to bow to anyone’s threats, telling an aide, “I will not do
anything contrary to my convictions to please these men, earnest and
powerful as they may be," according to the book "Inside Lincoln’s White
House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay."

*What he might say about today's GOP*

Lincoln might warn today’s Republicans to avoid making similar mistakes as
the Democrats in 1860. He would acknowledge the conservative Tea Party
movement and listen to them -- “It is my duty to hear all," he said,
according Fehrenbacher.

At the same time, as the Republicans unite behind Mitt Romney, Lincoln
would caution against allowing the conservatives to upset the apple cart
come convention time. Polls show the majority of Americans disagree with
the Tea Party ideals, and Lincoln knew it is the majority to whom
politicians are responsible.

Lincoln would also be appalled by all modern legislative assaults on human
and civil rights. He would equate all recent attempts by various states
ranging from denying civil rights for gays, to telling women what they
could or could not do with their bodies, and repudiation of equal pay for
equal work, as ill-disguised attempts to subjugate minorities and women.

Any form of subjugation was intolerable to Lincoln.

Prior to the Civil War, he warned Southern Democrats of their attitudes in
promoting and maintaining slavery.

“[They] deny his manhood; deny, or dwarf to insignificance, the wrong of
his bondage; so far as possible, crush all sympathy for him, and cultivate
and execute hatred and disgust against him and call the indefinite
outspreading of his bondage ‘a sacred right of self-government,'" Lincoln
said, according to Fehrenbacher.

Further, Lincoln said of any black slave woman, it was “her natural right
to eat the bread she earns with her own hands without asking leave of any
one else, she is my equal, and the equal of all others." He would consider
any limitation on civil rights, human rights, or legislation subjecting any
citizen to “second-class” status just as loathsome today as it was then.

Finally, Lincoln would advise Republicans to start working *with *each
other instead of engaging in endless bickering, as well as returning to the
negotiating table with the Democrats. Lincoln knew successful American
politics has always involved compromise, starting with the Founding Fathers
creating the Constitution.  And certainly Lincoln would testify if *he *could
successfully negotiate and comprise in the midst of the greatest internal
crisis our country has ever faced, so can and should the leaders of today’s
Republican Party.

Art Deco (Wayne A. Fox)
art.deco.studios at gmail.com
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20120427/3c059900/attachment.html>

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list