Lincoln and the Republican Party of Today

Photo Credit: Wikipedia


When I was a young girl, a simple trip to our nation’s Capital turned me into a closet history buff. It all started with a visit to Ford’s Theater and the small residence across the street where President Lincoln spent his final moments. I have photographs of the entire experience.

As a girl, maybe eight at the time, I struggled to understand why any person would want to kill another, let alone kill a president. It just seemed extreme and wrong.

As I grew, and learned through social studies and American history classes, Lincoln became one of my favorite presidents because of his devotion to our country as well as freeing slaves. Slavery is such a spot of shame on our country’s history.

When I started to see previews for the movie Lincoln, I knew I would be in line to see it the first weekend it was out. I don’t go to the movies often, and if I can make an embarrassing admission, the last movie I saw in theaters was Magic Mike. But I dragged along my best girlfriend and we packed into the crowded theater with only those horrid up front-break your neck seats and hunkered down with our goodies for the two hour and ten minute film.

If you aren’t a history buff, believe me, it will not keep your attention for the duration of the film. I am sure my friend was bored an hour into it. But for me it was like a treat. I was drawn in and couldn’t help but notice such stark differences in the Republican Party of Lincoln’s time, and of course what we consider the same party of today. To me, the only similarity I can see is the name. Everything else was completely different.

In the plot of the movie, the Civil War is raging, and slowly coming to an end despite desperate attempts to come to peace. But despite that being the largest memory most of us will associate with Lincoln, the bulk of the movie revolves around abolishing slavery, and essentially freeing slaves.

What most people don’t realize looking back, the motivation for the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 wasn’t just to free the slaves. Lincoln’s biggest worry was after the war concluded, judges would rule that slaves would need to return to their previous owners. Those who had fought in wars would be returned like simple possessions instead of freedom and happiness like all human beings should be entitled to.

The Republican president was pushing strongly for the 13th Amendment to be passed. But without a number of votes from the Democratic party, it would be unable to pass, and slavery would continue at the wars end.

We all know that the 13th Amendment passed, simply by history. We know that slavery was abolished, although so many African Americans were denied basic rights for a disgustingly long time. Still today we see horrible instances with race-fueled hate in our country and it simply makes my heart ache, and lights a fire within me.

But what we don’t know or remember much today was how many people were against the abolition of slavery. The debates, the bribes, the treats that took place surrounding the vote. And you know who didn’t want the vote to pass? The Democrats. The party today who continues to protect and stand up for those who are the minority, no matter what your color or background.

I couldn’t help but be mad at the thoughts and statements made repeatedly about treating slaves as if they are equals. At one point, during a heated debate on the house floor, a Democratic representative said with an extremely snarky tone, “First the blacks get the right to vote, and next the women will want the same!”

At that moment I leaned over to my best friend and said, “Oh hell no!  I could have never lived during this time period!”

Then the women will want the same?

The right to vote!?

I guess overall, the movie was eye opening for me. I never knew the stark difference in the Republican Party of then, and what we know as the Republican Party of today. I think more people who are serving our country in a political capacity today should take the time to learn about the founding fathers of our country. Maybe a good history lesson will give them a good kick in the pants and get this country running in the right direction!

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Charlize Theron, Mad Max, Hollywood and women's age
Psst! You Can’t Handle the Truth About Women!
Betty Draper is Finally Likable. There’s Just One Problem With That.
bitchy resting face, resting bitch face, plastic surgery, cure for bitchy resting face
11 Feminist Ways to Cure “Bitchy Resting Face” That Don’t Involve Plastic Surgery
Mad Men finale, Mad Men and women
Six Months, 65 Episodes: What I Learned Catching Up With “Mad Men”
Josh Duggar, Sexual molestation, 19 Kids and Counting
Josh Duggar, Mike Huckabee & the Complicated Relationship the South Has with Sin & Denial
women's reproductive health, birth control
When Good Men Need Convincing on Women’s Repro Health
wife bonus, working mothers, mommy wars
Wife Bonuses, Mad Men and The Mommy Wars
Waco biker gang violence, Baltimore, Freddie Gray, police violence, police response
Waco vs. Baltimore: What’s Wrong With This Picture?
Yearbook Quotes of the 2016 Presidential Candidates
Hillary Clinton tears, Hillary Clinton 2016, The Hunting of The President, Bill Clinton,
The Secret Weapon for a Hillary 2016 Victory? Channeling Her Inner Queen Elsa
Dad-bod, #dadbod, Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley, shirtless Martin O'Malley, politics
Watch Out, Hillary. Here Comes Shirtless Martin O’ Malley!
Baltimore and Freddie Gray, police violence, racism, racial tensions in Baltimore
The Real Action Baltimore Needs in the Wake of Freddie Gray
women's reproductive health, birth control
When Good Men Need Convincing on Women’s Repro Health
wife bonus, working mothers, mommy wars
Wife Bonuses, Mad Men and The Mommy Wars
Waco biker gang violence, Baltimore, Freddie Gray, police violence, police response
Waco vs. Baltimore: What’s Wrong With This Picture?
mindfulness app, designated worrier, mom as designated worrier, Headspace, Judith Shulevitz
In Our Era of the “Designated Worrier,” Mindfulness Apps Are the Future
yoga, work/life balance
The Pose You Don’t Want Is the One You Need
The author and her father in 1968
Coming to Terms With an Abusive Father
Mother's Day, imperfect mothers, imperfect daughters, mothers and daughters, family relationships
To Mom, Warts and All
Mother's Day, parent with Alzheimer's, dysfunctional families
What She Gave Me: A Mother’s Day Reflection
Amy Schumer’s Brilliant Take on Sexism and “Women of a Certain Age”
The Space Between Love and Fear
sexual women on TV, sexual role models
Powerful Sexual Female Role Models of a “Certain Age”
reinvention culture, Oprah and reinvention, More Magazine and reinvention, women stop reinventing yourselves
Reinvention Culture is Killing Me

Get our new weekly email
Broadly Speaking

featuring our best words for the week + an exclusive longread