I finally finished Steve Inskeep’s history of the first Republican Presidential candidate. Its great history and covered a subject I was a little fuzzy about. We downloaded the book so that we could hear the last two chapters read by Inskeep himself. That way I could start putting a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle together.
Inskeep reports for National Public Radio but it was a surprise to hear his familiar voice reading. When He got to a letter Abraham Lincoln sent his dear friend and political confident Joshua Speed I knew I wanted to copy it down and post on the blog. It went on at some length about something I mentioned in my last Reader Column about the anti-immigrant No Nothing party. And then it quoted Abraham Lincoln about how he felt about this anti-immigrant coalition:
August 24, 1855: Letter to Joshua F. Speed
“I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.”
The great tragedy of the Republican Party is that it has been taken over like the Invasion of the Body Snatchers by those who betray the name of Abraham Lincoln.
Or as I wrote in a note I set aside for my book, in progress, “The party given life by a man born into destination got taken over by the rich who put their comfort first by pandering to the poor over fake issues while bleeding them dry making the Republican Party ripe for the picking by a flashy imbecile of a president who pointed out how little the poor got out of all those Republican promises”