Greg Bailey, a St. Luigi attorney, is a correspondent for the Economist:As Abraham Lincoln"s birthday viewpoints Republicans approximately the country gather together in nation clubs and also halls because that their annual Lincoln day banquets. Pull on in your finest, the loan officer the the branch bank sips his gimlet when the cross-wearing locksmith intones the virtues of residence schooling come the party faithful gathered roughly the table. The rank and record eye each other warily periodically straining a smile throughout the dinner. ~ desert a speaker occurs who, after ~ repeating part old Clinton jokes the remembers and also praising the candidates strung follow me the front table together the just hope because that America, will certainly remind the assembly the Abraham Lincoln was the an initial Republican president and also proclaim the the party of Lincoln is marching on come victory through his spirit guiding their footsteps. Fortified with those words, the party stalwarts depart, transporting away the souvenir crepe paper centerpieces come their international made cars. Yet behind the facade the the Republican party"s insurance claim to be the party the Lincoln is the unpleasant but undeniable reality that if Abraham Lincoln were alive now he would certainly be a Democrat. Background and his story in addition to his see on federal government strongly support it. Abraham Lincoln was no in fact much that a Republican when he was alive. Lincoln to be for most of his life a proud member of the Whig party whose platform the harnessing the power of the federal government to invest in the public great is not greatly different in substance 보다 of modern mainstream Democrats. Together the Whig party fell apart in the 185Os end the concern of the development of slavery right into Kansas and also Nebraska Lincoln tried to hold the party together. In 1854 the ran for the state legislature identifying himself as an Anti-Nebraska Whig. Throughout the campaign a group of Republicans called Lincoln come the central committee that the new party without his consent or knowledge."I have actually been perplexed some to understand why my surname was put on that committee," he wrote. In 1856 Lincoln, as videotaped in his writings, reluctantly join the Republican presidential campaign of john Fremont. In the project Lincoln wanted to be identified as a Fremont guy or merely Anti-Nebraska, quiet finding the Republican brand distasteful. The party was tainted in Lincoln"s view by the alliance v the former members that the bigoted American or"Know-Nothing" party who anti-immigrant rhetoric foreshadowed the much right faction of present day Republicans. Lincoln ran ~ above a Republican ticket only one time: his 186O election as President. In his famous however unsuccessful campaign for the Senate versus Stephen Douglas in 1858 Lincoln technically did no run as a Republican, return he was widely well-known as your candidate. At that time neither he nor Douglas showed up on the voters" ballots under the old system of indirect choice of Senators by state legislators. Lincoln"s last campaign, the re-election in 1864, was under the banner the the Union Party bringing with each other pro-Union Democrats including vice chairman Andrew Johnson together with Republicans. Back the names have remained the same the next have changed their principles and positions, in plenty of ways flipping come the same degree that regions have flipped their party toughness in the critical 150 years. Lincoln"s reticence about the Republican party the his day would certainly be an ext than matched by the thin rejection the contemporary GOP would have actually for a Lincoln life in this times. Lincoln was a deeply devout and also spiritual man however was no a churchgoer. On the basis alone the Christian Coalition, which exercises a disproportional strength within the Republican party, would successfully veto his chances for publicly office, distributing fliers in church parking too many denouncing him on the Sunday prior to the election, lot as what occurred to john McCain. And also what end blown scandal could Ken Starr have actually made out of Ann Rutledge? A reincarnated Lincoln would relive part of his previous life listening to the states" civil liberties arguments modern-day Republican use versus any proposal to aid working families. The man who created the room of farming would recoil at the anti-government diatribes of residence Republicans. The president who levied an income tax top top the well-off would have actually be shocked at George W. Bush"s disproportionate tax reduced to the wealthiest one percent. The chief executive, management who thought in practical activity to control the marketplace such as standardizing rail gauges throughout the country would face a barrage the paranoia about big government native the right wing think tanks and media. But over all the president that did every little thing he could to prevent a battle would not have sent american into fight on false or faulty pretenses based on slanted intelligence. whatever Lincoln stood for, if stripped of its nineteenth century labels, areas him in ~ the contemporary day democratic Party. The guy who in 1858 spoke of the"eternal struggle" in between right and also wrong, the"two values that have actually stood confront to face due to the fact that the start of time...The one is the typical right the humanity and also the other the divine right that kings," would certainly not be a Republican today. He made his selection long ago.
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It would not have been because that a party that has tarnished and misused his name, and could more accurately call itself the party of Richard Nixon or Trent Lott or Dick military or Tom hold-up or rush Limbaugh, however not Abraham Lincoln.