Plaque Controversy: I Say Let the Democrats Have Abraham Lincoln
A plaque on Northeastern Illinois University’s Frank Lloyd Wright building reads
“This building is dedicated to public service honoring the memory of Abraham Lincoln — Democrat.”
I first saw this story on Facebook. It’s now getting wider attention. The controversy is over identifying Lincoln as a “Democrat.” In reality, he was our nation’s first Republican President.
Of course, I would not be surprised if most Americans believe Lincoln was a Democrat.
To be fair, the Democrat label can be attributed anyone regardless of party affiliation, as Republican can. A Democrat used to mean treating people equally, not being a respecter of persons: “You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous” (Deut. 16:19).
According to a spokesman from the university, “According to building archives, the word democrat was used because Lincoln was an advocate for democracy — the political or social equality of all people. The word was not chosen to reflect a political affiliation.”
Here’s the definition of ‘democracy’ in Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language:
DEMOCRAT, n. One who adheres to a government by the people, or favors the extension of the right of suffrage to all classes of men.
Unfortunately, Lincoln is a political icon of the Right and Left. I say let the Democrats have him.
Lincoln oversaw a war that led to the deaths of more than 750,000 Americans out of a population of 35 million (2.1% of the population),1 gave more power to the federal government, decreased the governing authority of the states, diluted the authority of the Constitution, and created negative conditions for blacks that we are still living with.
On April 27, 1861 Lincoln suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus even after a U.S. Circuit Court in Maryland ruled his action to be unconstitutional. His unlawful order declared that “all rebels and insurgents, their aiders and abettors within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice, affording aid or comfort to rebels against the authority of the United States, shall be subject to martial law and liable to trial and punishment by courts martial or military commission.”
It was Lincoln’s actions that made it easier for other presidents to violate the Constitution without any legal reprisals.
President Franklin Roosevelt, also a Democrat, violated his constitutional oath when he sent hundreds of thousands of Japanese American citizens to internment camps following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
President Obama is following a similar unconstitutional pattern by issuing the draconian “PREPARING THE UNITED STATES FOR THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE” Executive Order that can be found on the WhiteHouse.gov site.
“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to prepare the Nation for the impacts of climate change by undertaking actions to enhance climate preparedness and resilience, it is hereby ordered as follows:”
But the question is, has the authority been invested in him?
- The number of American deaths during World War II was 406,000 or .307% of the population of 1940. [↩]