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    "The slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts" ~ George Orwell





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    Thursday, July 29, 2004

    All just a little bit of history repeating


    This is an interesting tidbit of history from the Lincoln Years. I have taken out the entire chunk of the article I am talking about, and reproduced it here. The link to the whole story is at the bottom, but I really only wanted to point out how similar the situation was back then in terms of election rhetoric and campaigning. Check it out:

    Another convention, another Democratic-party peace platform.

    In August 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, the Democratic party adopted a platform that attacked the Republican incumbent for:

    four years of failure to restore the union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretense of military necessity or war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired.

    In other words, the war was a mistake. Our constitutional rights have suffered, and it costs too much. We should have tried diplomacy.

    The party nominated a popular war hero to reassure voters. Public opinion seemed heavily antiwar, and Democratic prospects looked bright.

    All this led Lincoln to reflect, gloomily,

    It seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the president elect, as to save the union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterwards


    Hans Moleman

    Too often we act like we are forging new ground and that the past is too distant to mean anything to the present. But there it is right there: the Civil War produced a startlingly similar campaign against Lincoln's re-election as a Republican. Take what you want from it, I was merely struck by how easy the parallel is drawn to today.


    posted by M@ at 5:22 PM   0 comments links to this post

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