How dare the Party of Slavery try to hijack the man who ended slavery! Trump will end our fealty to government.
He began by invoking Lincoln’s fight against division, and framed his run as dedication to something larger than himself. “When I saw the trouble that our country was in, I knew I could not stand by and watch any longer. Our country has been so good to me, I love our country, and I felt I had to act.”
He proceeded to denounce the ways that Washington and Wall Street have “rigged the rules of the game against everyday Americans,” from the one in five households where no one has a job, to the inner cities. And he closed with a clear, bullet-pointed plan for action, as a contract with American voters, asking them “to rise above the noise and the clutter of our broken politics, and to embrace that great faith and optimism that has always been the central ingredient in the American character.”
In between, though, that optimism curdled into bitter resentment. Trump asked Americans not to trust the machinery of their democracy, raising the specter of massive voter fraud without offering evidence to sustain that charge. He said his rival “should have been precluded from running for the presidency of the United States,” doubling down on his criminalization of political difference. He denounced massive corruption, fulminating against his enemies, foreign and domestic.
The speech’s most remarkable passage, though, sounded both notes simultaneously. Trump inveighed against the concentration of power in media conglomerates, offering himself in the mold of earlier trust-busting presidents. But he singled out those outlets which have been personally critical of him, as well as the women whose stories they have aired, promising to sue them all. And he painted himself as a victim of elites, just as much as ordinary Americans. “If they can fight somebody like me, who has unlimited resources to fight back, just look at what they can do to you—your jobs, your security, your education, your health care, the violation of religious liberty, the theft of your Second Amendment, the loss of your factories, your homes, and much more.”Trump sees big trouble for America and is running for president.
Which is exactly why Lincoln ran for president.
Lincoln had served a term in Congress in the 1840s, opposing the Mexican War. He was not a pacifist. He served as a captain in the Blackhawk War. But he worried rightly about expanding slavery westward.
But after two years in Washington, he went home to Illinois. He built his reputation as a lawyer. He won the historic Hurd v. Rock Island Bridge case, which made a transcontinental railroad possible, as well as the Almanac Murder case (defendant acquitted after Lincoln showed the star witness could not see at midnight as there was no full moon). He married well; Mary Todd's suitors included Stephen A. Douglas.
And yet, after the terrible Dred Scott decision, Lincoln left the law behind and spent two grueling years running for president despite the apparent shoo-in nomination for Establishment Favorite William Seward.
Lincoln gave all that stability away to stand up once and for all to slavery. He signed his death warrant by running. The horror of that reality drove his wife insane.
In Appelbaum's nasty attack on Trump, Appelbaum overlooks the Gettysburg Address itself, because Lincoln's finest speech makes Trump's case:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.All men are created equal. Giving Hillary a pass on her decades of criminality is a mockery of equality under the law.
Government of the PEOPLE --
By the PEOPLE --
For the PEOPLE!
We do not have that now. We have a federal government that regulates everything down to our toilet paper. It must be white. And not scented.
Appelbaum quoted TR: “We, the people, can preserve our liberty and our greatness in time of peace only by ourselves exercising the virtues of honesty, of self-restraint, and of fair dealing between man and man.”
Does anyone see any honesty or self-restraint from Hillary? Obama? Pelosi?
In condemning Trump for daring to appear at Gettysburg, Appelbaum and the Atlantic overlooked the absence of Obama, who refused to acknowledge the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's dedication in 2013.
But Obama has ignored all the 150th anniversaries connected to the Civil War. To him, that's white history; it doesn't count.
A fair press would have given Trump his due at Gettysburg, but we now have a government without a free press.
On November 8, Americans will determine if that continues.
The day America elected Obama, Lincoln wept. They were not tears of joy.
Please read "Trump the Press," a fun romp through the Republican nomination that uses the deadliest weapon to skewer the media experts: their own words. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.