Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Can Either Political Party Claim the Lincoln Legacy?

Who gets him? I am quite sure...certain really, that in our current two-party system, both political parties would like to claim Lincoln as one of their own, so to speak - and position themselves as the inheritors of the Lincoln legacy.

But that opens the door to a little interpretation. Lincoln was on board with things like internal improvements and tariffs - the hallmarks of a stronger central state. Those today who would support less government might have had a problem here. He was also, shall we say, progressive for his time.

We could always go the easy route and say his greater legacy was the spirit of unity. And thus we all get to be on his team. But don't get me started on how vague the term "unity" is. I am confident that Lincoln had an idea of the word's meaning - and I am equally confident that a whole bunch of people disagreed with him. Then and now.

Yes yes yes - I am really generalizing here. But I do so only to get you thinking. I have simply started the ball rolling with a few sweeping statements. I will let you fill in the details.

K (and happy election year)


  1. The quote is, "Now he belongs to the ages." not "Now he belongs to the party."

  2. Perhaps - but that has not stopped both major parties from trying to claim him.