If Abraham Lincoln was alive, would he recognize the Republican Party of today as the same party during his administration?
I want you to be honest and not partisan. I sincerely ask for your consideration of what the question is asking you to do. Please do not take this as a political attack, because I honestly am not trying to come against the Republican Party or its members by asking the question. I just want the Republicans of today to look critically at the party they claim. The Party we see today is not the Party of Lincoln.
Now I will resist going into the history of the Republican Party, although I admit that it’s interesting. I believe I should provide some bit of history for those Republican who don’t know.
The Republican Party was created March 20, 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin primarily in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This was an act that allowed the expansion of slavery into Kansas. At its inception the Republican Party was opposed to slavery and was progressive in its vision for the U.S. To its credit they emphasized education, business and stood in favor of free-market vs. slave labor.
Just as the Democratic Party of today absorbed many of the traditions of the Republican Party of pre-1950’s, so did the Republican Party of did of the Whig Party before its demise.
The GOP dominated the northeast and mid-west and maintained a strong presence in the north. Unlike today where it’s primary support comes from the south, during its early years the party had virtually no support in the south. I wonder why?
The cultural foundation of the party was based around ethnic and religious groups. Perhaps this is where the distorted idea of C-Street was derived. They used the church as a tool to gain political prominence. At the time the church was a place that practiced driving out sin from society; this included things such as slavery, alcoholism, polygamy to name a few. So it is amazing how the Republicans of yesterday would have viewed the resume of a George W. Bush or the religious traditions of a Mitt Romney or even the exclusionist practices of a Strom Thurman or Trent Lott and many others that continue to this day.
What would the founding fathers of the GOP think about the tactics of Karl Rove?
Would they approve of the antics of the current leadership?
Would they question them why they have essentially committed an ethnic and cultural cleansing of the party to overwhelmingly exclude non-whites, non-Christian and practically non-southerners from the party?
Since the party rightfully fought against slavery I wonder if they would approve of torture.
Would Lincoln be able to distinguish the Republicans of today against the Radical Republicans and War Democrats of his day?