The Party of Lincoln?

By Jedediah Bila

Yesterday on Fox News, I heard an excellent monologue by Neil Cavuto, thoughts he shared about the Republican Party after seeing Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” He said what needed to be said, that the Republican Party has lost its way. I couldn’t agree more.

Cavuto stated:

It doesn’t make sense that a party that defined itself providing opportunity for all now gets bested by another party pushing government for all.

How the heck did that happen?

How did a party founded by disgruntled northern white Protestants and African-Americans, and under whose tent you had everyone from farmers to factory workers back then, become the mishmash it is now?

Watching “Lincoln,” I was reminded about a time when Republicans stood for opportunity for all and a president risked his very office enshrining it in our Constitution. Forget about what’s happened to our Constitution, what’s happened to theirs?

What’s happened to Republicans?

What happened to the party that extolled the benefits of business, but not so blindly that under Theodore Roosevelt, wasn’t afraid to rein in the abuses of business?

What happened to that party that pushed to keep our food safe and our environment clean? That could distinguish between regulations that mattered to life and not the onslaught of meaningless ones taxing business to death?

That could discern the difference between a smart government and an excessive government?

That brought us our national parks and protected our national workers?

What happened to that party? That party whose first slogan was “free soil, free silver, free men”?

Now, more like freefall.

It’s not that Republicans don’t know their future. They’ve forgotten their past and what should be in their soul. A party that defined itself not by what it could give you, but the boundary-less opportunities this country could provide you.

Remember that the Tea Party rose up in response to big-spending, big-government Republicans. We already have a Democrat Party. This country doesn’t need two. We don’t need two parties defending tax hikes, two parties justifying class warfare, or two parties addicted to overspending and absurd baseline budgeting that would bankrupt any household. We don’t need two parties fighting for government overreach into your private lives and personal decision-making.

What we need is a party that fights for opportunity and is determined to do something bold about our $16.4 trillion national debt.

We need a party that isn’t afraid of serious outreach to communities that have been told for years that Democrats are their allies, communities that have suffered immensely at the hands of big-government policies.

We need a party that cares about engaging this country’s youth, that cares about battling academia’s bias and working with young people who value their freedoms and potential.

The truth is that both parties have failed the American people. I’d like to think that the party of Lincoln can do a lot better than this.

Wouldn’t you?

Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila

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8 years ago

There are three branches of gov’t. TERM LIMITS, TERM LIMITS, TERM LIMITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8 years ago

There are too many people in this country who don’t think there is a thing wrong with it. They are getting what they want, so they think everyone must be doing OK.

8 years ago

What outstanding commentary! Thanks for the wonderful and thoughtful posts!

I’ve believed that (at least since Reagan), Republicans have tended to campaign for office as CONSERVATIVES, yet when they get in office, they govern or legislate as CENTRISTS, often going along with ideas that are against traditional values to try and capture the undecided vote.

Democrats, on the other hand, have tended to campaign for office as CENTRISTS, capturing the votes of the liberals and moderates. When they get into office, however, they govern or legislate as LIBERALS.

The end result is that we get elected officials who either govern as CENTRISTS at best, or LIBERALS at worst. Over time, we have done this LEFT, CENTER, LEFT, CENTER, LEFT, CENTER path that has gradually taken us further and further from conservative values.

This is why today’s “CENTRIST” or “MODERATE” value system is actually FAR-LEFT, SOCIALIST AND/OR COMMUNIST compared to 30, 50, 100 years ago, and today’s CONSERVATIVE Republican sounds so much like the MODERATES of years past.

Where are our true CONSERVATIVES? Many have left the Republican Party out of disgust, or only vote Republican because it’s the lesser of two evils. So many of think to ourselves, the Republican Party is “out in the weeds”, yet we know the Democrats are “off the planet.” We need to find our True North again, and move forward boldly and unapologetically as patriotic conservatives.

8 years ago
Reply to  CAPT Mike

Dead on, Mike. This is a great article by Jedediah – well said.

8 years ago
Reply to  CAPT Mike

You must be reading my mind. Good thoughts!!

8 years ago

The Republican Party will always be around. The Democrats can’t let them vanish, for whom would they have to blame for their failures and mismanagement? They just need to keep their numbers low enough to where they can never again be a threat. It was disheartening to see the G.W. Bush administration recklessly spend just like their political opponents. That did damage to the GOP. I saw nothing wrong with the Romney campaign. They were definitely on the right track. It is the American public that has rejected the GOP. Too many do not understand our nations history nor do they seem to care. Too many are satisfied with the status quo and too many did not bother to vote. Republican principles are, for the most part, sound; but you can’t speak rationally to those who refuse to listen or comprehend. Look at the status of politics in California and you will get a glimpse of what is in store for our nation in a few years. By the way, I am not a Republican.

8 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Your right about California. The worst state in the union. Ignorant, ignorant and ignorant. If people refuse to listen to the right and the left ideals, how can you get across any ideas to all the people. It is called stuburnes, therefore we are, all of us doomed in the future. Apparently the bad way is the way to go.

5 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Join the discussion

5 years ago
Reply to  Dbyrd

Michael, This is part of the problem. Democrats blame republicans, and vice versa. We make excuses, and see no wrong and refuse to admit our party has issues. It is always the other party that’s at fault.. Until we as a people be honest with ourselves and open our eyes and see the truth as it really is. We know that if the other parties did what our party did we would have something negative to say about. Democrats can see no good deeds of republicans and vice versa. This is sad.

8 years ago

You don’t know me. Few do. Few ever will. Yet, I take responsibility for the trouble we’re in. Everyone here knows what is wrong. Everyone can recite the litany of abuses, corruption, theft, and unspeakable crimes being committed. Then, we all look around for a savior. The parties are dead. I fear, if a real “Tea Party” came into existence it would be a short time before we saw the same crime and corruption taking place there. Maybe nothing can happen without like minded people formally organizing, though the tea party did have a profound effect not so long ago.
Before we start looking for “the new leader”, take responsibility for your own part, and then do what is necessary.

Phil Beal..(87 yrs old)
8 years ago

Honesty has been overcome by the individual desire to fill his wants. This has been accepted by all of our religions,
our political leaders in both parties and even some in the tea party. It used to be that each individual was to act in
a manner so as to set an example “HONESTLY”. Now, if you don’t go along with the crowd to fill their personal desires your no longer honest. I can remember in l936 when the federal govt. (FDR) initiated programs to feed
people and my father, an elected member of the town’s Board of Water Commisioners, came home from a meeting
at the town hall. He was very upset because many of the elected officials were helping themselves to the excess
bacon in the welfare office, because it would only spoil without refrigeration, and very upset with him because he
wanted them to put it in the refrigerators at the two schools. They wanted to fill their own wants and it was dishonest
of him not to take same bacon to support those that did. Dishonesty happened a long time ago and has become
the rule. This attitude has overcome everyone. No one is willing to stand up to it. Things won’t change until the
honest increase to being a majority.

Fern Martin
8 years ago

I agree with tea party principles..We just need more people banning together to get more tea party members in all of govnt.

8 years ago

The Tea Party needs to become “community organizers” and reverse this trend the Left Wing Socalist Democrats have been seeding our society with for the last 50+ years.
Like a cancer they started small (coward and plivens) and eroded our core beliefs to a point of almost no reversal and we stood by and let it happen.
It is now time for radical chemotherapy. Preventive medicine is too late.
Let’s get started SARAH….

8 years ago


Nancy N
8 years ago

Ron, you are so right!

8 years ago

It is up to the Tea Party to regenerate the GOP and convince Independants to get serious about defeating the left and its socilist agenda.

8 years ago

Great comments on what’s wrong. We agree. Now what do we do to change the game and save America?

A modest suggestion: Each of us, individually, or in coordinated group action should actively persuade individual Leftists-Low information voters, Low reasoning voters, and Liberals-Leftists-Socialists-Communists-Subversives into American Conservatives. When is the last time you changed the mind of anyone on the left through persuasion? Do you know how to use effective methods of persuasion? After all, advertising and marketing techniques persuade people to believe stuff, do stuff, and like stuff. Can those methods work to convert Left voters to Right voters? Sure can.

It’s going to be tough and unpleasant at first, but we each need to be missionaries working to convert the misguided Left.

If each of us converted just one person before the next election, we could really save America.

8 years ago
Reply to  StevenOracle

Your assumption is that these “low-information voters” (please no more politically correct terms for simply ignorant voters) are open to logic and reasoning. That they are making their decisions based on proven facts and historical perspectives and we just have to educate them about a few things. Here’s the reality I’ve seen from talking to probably a couple of hundred of these people over the last four years:

1) They are not making decisions based on facts and logic. They are driven by emotion. By what makes them feel good. Being told that their failure to “get ahead” or “be successful” or something else is really someone elses’ fault makes them feel good about themselves.

2) You can take the time to walk them through why a certain position won’t work in the real world, in very fine detail, and why an alternative approach might create a better outcome for them over the long run. You can point to various examples in history that back up your point and prove their point won’t work. The response 9 out of 10 times will be “but Obama says _______ (fill in the blank on any topic)”. They essentially are only capable of repeating the Democrat talking points that Obama and the media have inundated them with every day. My point being you are not dealing with intelligent people to start with. They want and like the simple, empty feel good solutions Obama is pitching to them. No need to push oneself to better your circumstances. No need to get up, get dressed, go to work to afford things. Just sit back, apply for the myriad of government handouts available and watch the “freebies” roll in as you crack open another beer, play another video game or make calls on your “free” Obama phone.

3) You’re assuming that most Obama voters want to go from lazy, “what’s in it for me”, “what can I get for free” to self-reliant, motivated, productive people. They just have been told some bad info from Obama and once they get the good info, they will magically transform into as you put it “American Conservatives”. Really? I love your optimism, but these people have been created over decades of ever-more generous government handouts, being told “you don’t have to feel ashamed of being unemployed, unmotivated or unsuccessful. It’s not your fault. The country owes you a living and the government is here to ensure you’re taken care of.

The problem this nation now faces is that the takers, who are very happy with the way things now are proceeding, now outnumber the makers in terms of the voting public. This has been a gradual process, that has taken the left decades to build to this critical mass of voters.

While I agree we should all continue to try and turn around the situation through engaging these ignorant voters in intelligent and rational discussions, we have to also understand that their personal value system is almost diametrically opposed to our own. You have to take that into account in any discussions with these people. This process, if ultimately successful, will take many, many years to achieve sufficient results to alter the path this country is now on. In many ways, it’s like teaching someone from a country with a totally different culture from our own, why they might like our culture better after a while.

Stephen Mosier
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

SteveOracle and PaulE,

Paul you are right that the task of persuading the uninformed and unthinking voters who prefer the liberal agenda to accept transformation into true conservative thinkers is unrealistic. As to whether they are best described as, low-information-voters, or ignorant voters, I prefer Stalin’s label—Useful Idiots.

Still, Steve is right that we should all attempt, on a person by person basis, to persuade people to become conservative voters. The key is knowing who to focus your persuasion on and who to forget. Forget the Useful Idiots. Focus on those people who we know are out there but who are not engaged in the political battles and persuade them of the need for them to become engaged.

Based upon my exposure to people at large I am absolutely convinced that even today, in spite all the indoctrination which passes for education and the media propagandizing which passes for journalism, the majority of the American people are at their core conservative. But their do not all vote. They are, to a large extent, just as uninformed as the Useful Idiots who do vote. The Useful Idiots unwittingly vote against their own self-interest–while the Silent Conservatives unwittingly refrain from voting—a behavior which is also against their own self-interest.

For too long the Republicans (including the conservatives among them) have been attempting to un-indoctrinate the indoctrinated. We should instead be attempting to engage the unengaged. In most cases it is easier to convince a non-voter to become a voter than it is to convince a liberal to become a conservative. (I know because I have done both.)

Unfortunately, it seems that by fact of human nature it is easier to motivate Useful Idiots to vote for a government that will give things to them than it is to motivate others to stop the government from taking from them. Therein lies the liberal/Democrat edge. For now at least. That dynamic will change as the government, due to depletion of our economic base, becomes less able to give what the Useful Idiots have come to expect, and as the Silent Conservatives grow more weary of having more, and more, and more taken from them. The future is ours. We just have to win it.

Rod Morris
8 years ago

In 1998 I made the decision to leave the Republican Party. I made the decision when the local caucus was held, and a group of people prepared a handout urging the party to stick to its party platform. Instead of accepting or tolerating the handout, the local party leaders called the police and had them arrested. I decided then that this is not the party that I could trust or belive in. However, since then I have still voted with the Republican Party because there was no other reasonable choice. But now, following the handling of the recent election, and especially in lighty of Boehner’s purge of true conservatives, I have again made the decision that I will no longer vote for a Republican in national elections. Maybe that means my vote will be meaningless, but the Republican leadership has already assured that to be the case, and the recent election bears that out. If they want my vote, they will have to earn it. If the Tea Party or anyone else can come up with a reasonable alternative candidate, I am all ears.

T Charles
8 years ago
Reply to  Rod Morris

Bravo Ron Morris! Agree wholeheartedly. Boehner just doesn’t get it!

8 years ago

So many good solid statements. It almost gives me hope since I hardly see it anywhere else in everyday life. I must admit I don’t see how we can win with the cards so stacked against us. We don’t stick together like the socialist do. We don’t have the media or education system nor the courts (Supreme Court almost gone) and most of all God fearing families raising up well trained youth. I’m afraid we must hit bottom before we can see clearly which way is up. I’m at the age (72) that puts me in the “out of touch” category so young people smile at the tried and proven past examples but say that’s nice pop but so out of date. I still hold on to hope though.

Ray Downen
8 years ago

I can’t speak for every Republican politician, but I know several who are capable and honest and seek the good of this nation. I live in the southwest corner of Missouri, surrounded by many patriotic Republicans, some of whom are in office. We are not Democrat-lite folks. We are patriotic. If every Republican politician was like ours the party would be strong and proudly pro-American. I sorrow that by hook and by crook Obama was able to win re-election. He’s already nearly ruined us and every day drives us deeper into debts we’ve no way to repay. He makes regulations which will cause more and more businesses to close their doors and fewer of us to have jobs. It was surely a better time when Reagan was our President. We have enemies in many lands where once we had friends. Obama is ruining us and our reputation as a land of the free and home of the brave. When some states secede, patriots from every state should quickly join them.

8 years ago

Lise has it right. The progressives have always been the party of Lincoln. Big government, subsidies, high taxes and central banking. The “American System” was a Lincoln gift. The Democrats just figured it out a hundred years ago and morphed to Lincolnites. The Republicans cannot be both progressives and constitutionalists but they sure try – therein lies their problem. They say one thing but cannot resist being the other. Time for a morph or another party. They need a leader who is unafraid and committed and who can get the message across. Good luck.

8 years ago

i have one question for everyone, why do most people refer to socialists, as the “democratic party”??? it’s the “democrat” party!!! and no one in that party, is a democrat, they’re all liberals, socialists and communists!!! and just so you know, jfk, was the last known democrat!!!

Ray Downen
8 years ago
Reply to  slk

Members of the party now led by a Muslim want their group to be called “the Democratic Party.” Most of us can’t feel that inaccurate description is correct. Friends have rebuked me for not using the name they prefer.

8 years ago
Reply to  Ray Downen

They may want us to call it the “Democratic Party” but in reality, it must be called what it is, the “Progressive (Communist) Party.”

8 years ago
Reply to  Dale

funny though, they never progress!!!

8 years ago
Reply to  Ray Downen


8 years ago
Reply to  slk

thank you,thank you,thank you, i have made this same statement on several of these sites i am glad to see someone else is awake

8 years ago
Reply to  alex

thumbs up!!!

Bob L.
8 years ago

“We need a party”…
We have a party, still small but growing with more registered voters now than the Libertarian Party – It’s the Constitution Party.

8 years ago

I was in a large meeting room packed with Ron Paul supporters back in 2008, when Judge Andrew Napolitano declared Lincoln to be our worst president. The room exploded with cheers and applause. He was so excited by the response that he said it again and the response was even louder. To compare Obama to Lincoln is appropriate, since they are both dictators who have no problem trashing our Constitution.

Jesse l white
8 years ago


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