The Party Lincoln Belonged to is Dead; Long Live the Party of Lincoln

I posted some thoughts on Twitter, and I decided to repurpose that thread into a blog post for easier reading. Yesterday, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, seemed like the right time to again highlight the potential need we have for a new political party, something I began pondering in an earlier thread.

I’m not convinced that such a party would need to adopt particular policy positions in the way we’ve grown accustomed to. Instead, the critical issue at this juncture is electing those committed to our fundamental values and who have the courage to stand up for them.  What are those fundamental values?

First, a firm commitment to the dignity of all persons, reflecting the radical statement in our Great Declaration;

Second, a commitment to a free society – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom to protest, and freedom of the press.  Such is the foundation for a society which is a prerequisite for us to have our traditional policy disputes;

Third, we need a commitment to our rules – the Constitution and the laws created pursuant thereto.  Citizens are skeptical of whether broad commitment to the rules and fair play exists, and if commitment to the rule of law continues to be questioned people will resort to extra-legal means to achieve the goals they seek;

Fourth, to unity. For years now, politicians and others with financial incentives have exploited fault lines in society for their gain.  The bonds that unite our society are fraying & we must work in a spirit of seeking to mend those.

Fifth, a commitment to truth. Our debates continue to be misinformed by the creation of strawmen and outright lies.  Americans deserve to have serious policy issues debated on their merits. We must reject spin and other distortions.

A commitment to: the dignity of all persons, a free society, the rule of law, unity, and truth - a political party committed to those things is what we need now.  Our regular policy debates are important; but they all assume a backdrop of such commitments, which we cannot take for granted.  Without those commitments, this whole American experiment in self-government is in danger.

Both parties are atrophied, and still fighting partisan battles in a framework that is falling apart.

Lincoln's birthday makes me think about his commitment to the America, and the party he belonged to is barely a shadow of what was.  But the man himself echoes through our history, and it is imperative that we reclaim his commitment to the American Experiment.

Which is why I think that a new party, bigger than the Right or the Left, should consider forming under the banner of Lincoln.