Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Abe's 200th: Was he our greatest Republican?

Abe's 200th: Was he our greatest Republican?

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

-- Abraham Lincoln, delivering his anti-slavery speech at New York's Cooper Union, Feb. 27, 1860.

I guess you could call Lincoln the original '60s radical -- 1860s, of course. Today the world honors the Great Emancipator on his 200th birthday, and rightfully so. He was also the first Republican president -- and in this present era of madness it's worth noting that the Party of Lincoln has produced some other great American leaders. The list would have to include Teddy Roosevelt, a force for progressive causes from scenic preservation to food safety, and Dwight Eisenhower, who understood the importance of a strong infrastructure and tried to warn the nation about the dangers of the military-industrial complex.

So who do you think was the greatest Republican president? Is Lincoln a slam dunk. How come none of the candidates for GOP chairman in 2009 even paid lip service to the 16th president?

Discuss.

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Will Bunch
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