Tag Archives: Abraham Lincoln
The Boston Marathon bombing is already impacting the debate on immigration policy and the issue of immigration keeps coming up in the Republican senate debates. The candidates have slightly different takes on it, though they all want to seem tough on the Mexican border. I’m far from any kind of an expert on immigration policy but I’m close to an irritable observer of how politicians try to exploit animosity toward unauthorized immigrants. And a conversation with John Burt, author of Lincoln’s Tragic Pragmatism: Lincoln, Douglas, and Moral Conflict, has me thinking that we may be far distant from what the words of the Declaration of Independence imply about immigrants.
Recently I applauded a video released by Rep. Dan Winslow for getting two mentions of Abraham Lincoln into only a little over two minutes of video. But I also questioned whether it is realistic to reclaim the mantle of the Party of Lincoln for an institution that has so long been the Party of Reagan. So does Dan Winslow of the Massachusetts GOP represent the Party of Reagan or the Party of Lincoln?
The Yale economist Robert J. Shiller is urging President Barack Obama to find a new metaphor to define his second term policies that would make inclusion its focus. Shiller means economic inclusion, which he sees as essential to our national and global progress. You can read Shiller’s post A Metaphor for Obama over at Project Syndicate.
I recommend Rep. Dan Winslow’s video Be Part of the Solution, especially because in just over two minutes he weaved in two separate references to Abraham Lincoln. I was jumping up and down with excitement when I heard that. Rep. Winslow wants to reclaim Lincoln as the proper symbol of the Massachusetts Republican Party (national Republicans overwhelmingly prefer Ronald Reagan), and good for him.
My students know that even my love for teaching Massachusetts Politics pales before my love for teaching The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln. So I saw Lincoln the day of its release. The film is accurate on many levels, including the portrayal of the politics of getting the amendment through, the relationship of the president to the co-equal branch of Congress, and the divisions within even a dominant political party that make measures difficult to pass. Let me briefly say something about two matters: Lincoln’s constitutionalism and the tension between Lincoln and radical abolitionist Republican Congressman Thaddeus Stevens.
Today is Election Day in America and we should be grateful for how fortunate we are. We get to elect our leaders and our votes are counted honestly and competently (almost always) and if an incumbent loses he or she actually leaves the office. This sort of thing hasn’t happened all that many times in human history and doesn’t happen to this day in many places We get to take it for granted.
(Springfield, IL, 1860) The campaign of Republican presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln is reeling as it confronts the release of records of the clients he represented in Illinois over the years. Political experts reacted with horror at the extensive list of murderers, horse thieves, gamblers, adulterers, kidnappers and even businesses represented by the Republican nominee.
The more outrageous and inflammatory the political rhetoric, the less it means. That is my initial reaction to today’s Boston Globe story chronicling how the California Democratic Party chairman compared Paul Ryan’s convention speech to Nazi propaganda, and actor Chuck Norris likened the re-election of the president to “the triumph of evil.”
I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln, Independence Hall, Philadelphia, February 22, 1861
Abraham Lincoln is our greatest teacher about the meaning of the Declaration. So on the day following our national holiday, let us reflect on the Declaration once more, as Lincoln taught us.