I read an editorial that still referred to the Republican Party as The Party of Lincoln. That term is a little hard to swallow these days. I doubt that Lincoln would recognize today’s version of that Grand Old Party.
Lincoln’s absolute focus was on keeping the Union together. He was even willing to compromise on the status of slavery in order to keep the states together – an imperfect version of his Union.
With today’s incredible talk of secession in Republican party units, not only in Texas, but in Minnesota as well, Lincoln would be incredulous. Lincoln wasn’t against states rights — he just believed that Federal authority had to supersede it to maintain a host of necessary services for the country.
After the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination, the Party of Lincoln was embraced by the now freed slaves. The Party of Lincoln offered hope and the promise of justice to a people who had to start their lives over in a hostile environment. Democrats (in the south) were the party of fear mongering. The party of discrimination. The party of hate.
Yet today’s party of Lincoln has produced the Arizona immigration law. They have built fences on borders and walls against inclusion. The Party of Lincoln wants to make the rights of some citizens a little less secure because of what they look like or where their ancestors come from.
Yes, today’s Republican Party would have a hard time embracing a modern day Lincoln. He would be too “federalist”, too inclusive, and possibly too forgiving for today’s morphed version of that party of 150 years ago.
I think it may be time to stop calling the GOP, the Party of Lincoln. They really wouldn’t recognize each other once you get past the myths and face the realities of today.