Home > Political Ranting > The Party of Lincoln Co-opters

The Party of Lincoln Co-opters

March 21st, 2006

Republicans can’t resist invoking Lincoln. “The Party of Lincoln,” they love to remind everyone. As if that means they somehow have Lincolnesque qualities. It’s not just that they’re not of the same caliber, it’s that they’re not even of the same political hemisphere. Lincoln was a progressive, not a conservative; early Republicans were for modernization, not preservation of “traditional” values. The conservatives of Lincoln’s time were for keeping slavery, not ending it. (Conservatives, being against change, have been on the wrong side of most social and political progress, from civil rights all the way back to independence from the British crown.) The Republican Party has constantly shifted throughout the past one hundred and fifty years to occupy its current position at the far right of the political spectrum, one of the more notable shifts caused by opposition to Roosevelt’s New Deal. But the original Republicans, the Lincoln Republicans, were not the same kind of people who now represent the GOP.

To get a Republican off a we’re-like-Lincoln rant, just remind him that the Lincoln Republicans introduced the first income tax, and the first large federal deficit, along with a whole bunch of other taxes. Then watch their heads implode. If they want to claim the mantle of Lincoln, then they also have to accept the mantle of being the first tax-and-spenders.

Categories: Political Ranting Tags: by
Comments are closed.