“The Party of Lincoln!”… um… or is it really?

Posted on September 26, 2008 by


I’m not going into who is right or who is wrong politically in my blog because that is not what this blog is about. However, in terms of Civil War era Memory… let’s call this a hodge-podge of thoughts from the “for what it’s worth” file…

… when a Republican presidential candidate proclaims that he is from the “party of Lincoln,” I have to roll my eyes… and I’ve done it on more than one occasion in the past as others ran from the Republican Party and used the same battle cry. Apart from the name of the party, is the party itself really the same? I don’t think so. There was, at one time, a rather solid South behind the banner of the Democats, but today, there is, in my opinion, a distinct difference (having gradually advanced away from the Democratic Party in the latter part of the 1800s and then totally flipping in the other direction in later years… although, I can say that I personally know some in the South who have remained registered Democrats… and that affiliation has a lineage of it’s own that goes back to a Confederate veteran or two). So, to call the Republican Party the “party of Lincoln” is a rather empty battle cry used more out of the need to tap into a certain mindset among voters than to convey the truth about modern party politics.

On the other hand, it seems ironic that both major candidates have admiration for Abraham Lincoln… one starting his campaign in Springfield, Illinois and the other using the above stated battle cry. That’s interesting…

Lastly, I have to comment also on the status of the Democratic Party earlier this year. I couldn’t help but see similarities in the Democratic run for party nomination and the struggle within the splintered Democratic Party in the 1860 Presidential election. While one party candidate has been selected in the recent race, clearly, the most recent splintering is still there. The question is, will it impact the party in a somewhat similar fashion as that which took place in 1860? In the wake of the fight for the nomination, will the splintering work to the favor of the Republican candidate or is the run for the Democratic nomination where similarities end?

Oh wait… speaking of Lincoln, I’ve got to mention this one… I find it funny that, in my home county, the Republicans come together for a big spread on Lincoln’s birthday. It’s rather laughable because I can’t help but find the irony that Lincoln was never on the ballot in the county (or if he was on the ballot, there was not one vote cast for him).

Wait! One more thing… and, of course, though it has nothing to do with the Civil War, there is the incident in which Biden spoke about the depression and Roosevelt going on television… that said, Jon Stewart added some flavor from the Civil War when he speculated that, perhaps, Biden might say something to the effect that “… and Lincoln, during the Revolutionary War…”

Bottom line… really, I think that there are too many politicians out there (whether democrat, republican or whatever) that need a wake-up call and need to be censured for contributing to the dumbing down of America, all in the name of gathering votes. Thank you politicians, for taking advantage of the American public, showing how historically dumb you are, and/or showing that you think that America is historically dumb!

Maybe those who downplay the importance of history in the education of our children need to take note! Nah… keep us dumb, it makes good putty for political manipulation.