SAN JOSE, Calif., July 23, 2016 – Recently, the Democrats have made painstaking and concerted attempts to link themselves to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Such efforts have been quite pathetic, and except for some millennials who may not have been properly acquainted with Lincoln, progressives who completely misunderstand Lincoln and libertarians who misjudge Lincoln, most Americans should be able to easily see through the political charades of such Democrats.
The effort to link to Lincoln is not just a recent effort to link to a great president or to “co-mingle” with the president who helped abolish slavery in the United States. Democratic efforts to compare themselves to Abraham Lincoln is an orchestrated attempt to demonstrate some public linkage to a legend who fought against the aristocratic Democrat slave empire in the Deep South. The irony is that Democrats today seem to have forgotten that it was their party who managed all that suffering for such a long time.
Today, young people learn that it was the Confederacy that seceded from the Union and started the Civil War. What is purposely left out of that narrative is that the Confederates were the Democrats. Also untold is the story of how the Democratic Party fragmented during the election of 1860, and in an act of outright desperation and defiance, they initiated a “rebel cause” in the Confederates States of America and instigated the American Civil War. It was about preserving their precious political power and slave dominions.
In 2007, Sen. Barack Obama made a big production at the old Illinois statehouse as he announced his candidacy for the presidency. Most recently, Hillary Clinton delivered what had been touted as a “major speech” in Springfield, Illinois, where she invoked Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech. It rang hollow.
More significantly, in President Obama’s final State of the Union address this January, he played politics, took political jabs at GOP contenders in their primary races and made a backhanded self-comparison to Lincoln. In a rare admission, Obama said, “One of the few regrets of my presidency – that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better. There’s no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and I guarantee I’ll keep trying to be better…”
For a person who has been responsible for dividing America, getting better doesn’t mean the same thing to the public as it means to him. In reality, the president diminished the stature of such an address to the nation to an undignified low.
To the contrary, and even more ironically, Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the GOP Convention in Cleveland echoed more of Abraham Lincoln’s sentiments than the hollow words of Clinton or Obama. And, he seemingly achieved this without even trying, as it is doubtful whether Trump was making an overt attempt to emulate Mr. Lincoln.
As early as 1838, a young Abe Lincoln was witnessing lawlessness across America. Terror tactics of the Southern Democrats, even before they officially organized themselves as a Confederacy, were directed at the abolitionists and those who were trying to help the slaves escape from the plantation. The abolitionists who were audaciously printing anti-slavery rhetoric were often terrorized, lynched and shot by agents of white aristocratic slave owners – the pre-Civil War foundation for the Ku Klux Klan. The “poison” of their rhetoric seriously impacted the lies and distortions the Democratic Party had perpetuated regarding the “non-person status” of the slaves.
Even a young Abraham Lincoln was concerned about the outright violence occurring all across the nation from the South to Kansas to his home state of Illinois. At the age of 29, Lincoln gave his first major public political address at the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, and viewed America’s reality in such a time quite soberly:
…good men, who love tranquility, who desire to desire to abide by the laws and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country, seeing their property destroyed, their families insulted, and their lives endangered, their persons injured, and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better, become tired and disgusted with a government that offers them no protection, and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose.
Such words could have been delivered after the recent police murders in Dallas or Baton Rouge. The targeting of police in this day is not simply the case of random acts of violence. Donald Trump is absolutely correct to be the candidate of law and order. Someone has to have the guts to stand up to such blatant disregard for law and order.
In a similar way, as he ran in 1860, Lincoln stood on the constitutional principles upon which the nation was built. A superficial consideration of the incredibly divisive time in Lincoln’s America may manifest a simple view of Lincoln, but such a simplistic perception does not consider the fact that Lincoln was concerned about saving America.
Lincoln essentially respected the Constitution in light of the perilous period in which he served as president. The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive mandate, but it could only exist during the time the United States was engaged in armed conflict with the Confederate States, as Lincoln was only able to implement his proclamation through the war powers vested in the president by the Constitution as the commander in chief of the U.S. military. The Emancipation Proclamation was not a mandate providing a solution to slavery; it fundamentally set a genuine foundation for the slaves to rise up and free themselves without fear of being sent back under the provisions of the fugitive slave acts. The slaves gained a confidence and a trust in a white man as president because he gave them hope to be free.
In Trump’s acceptance speech, he gave Americans renewed hope that they could be free from the soft tyranny that has been creeping over the nation for too long. In his own unique way, Donald Trump is much more reminiscent of Lincoln than any Democrat. He is a roughly hewn American (brash, outspoken and quite independent) but also a true American. One who loves America can sense that Trump does love the United States of America in his own manner. Within the same framework, Lincoln loved this country – only he started from a completely different stature in life. The real question is whether the substantial political opponents of Trump truly love America.
Law and order mean very little to a Democratic Party that uses lawlessness as a way of pushing its agenda – not only in the past, but in this day, here and now. It is frightening because what was happening in Lincoln’s time is seemingly being repeated in this time; only in Lincoln’s day the source of the problems resided in only a single region of the nation. Today, the nation is under the control of such a party, and it seems that the opposition Republican Party has either been complacent or complicit in light of such a power grab.
Today in America, the people are still divided, fragmented actually. When Hillary Clinton spoke last week, she claimed, “The challenges we face today do not approach those of Lincoln’s time. Not even close… But recent events have left people across America asking hard questions about whether we are still a house divided.” The supreme irony is that the mantra of Democrat-progressives must be “manipulate, divide and conquer.”
Today in America, the ultimate destruction of the founding principles can be considered a goal of one political party. When Lincoln ran in 1860, half of the nation despised him, and those in power in the Deep South were willing to fight against what he represented to the death, for the power to control people and the preservation of political authority in outright violation of the U.S. Constitution. In Lincoln’s day the Democrats were viewed and accepted as sharing the same values as those of the rest of the nation. However, although they had the name of being Americans, they actually represented the opposite of what the Founders fought for and created in the foundational documents of the United States.
Today the people who love this country are yearning for leadership that will bring citizens together, not drive us further apart. It is now increasingly clear in this presidential election year that there are those who love American values, and who hold them in highest esteem, and then there are those who just go by the name of Americans. Pray that true Americans can realize the difference.