Saturday, April 30, 2005


Interesting History Tidbit

A dear friend of mine, Maia Cowan, passed this on to me:

You know how the Republicans keep calling themselves "the party of Lincoln" and claiming that they're the party of civil rights, because the party was founded as an antislavery party? I've been reading "Don't Know Much About History" by Kenneth C. Davis and came to a screeching halt at this revelation:
"Although the Republicans made antislavery claims that attracted former Free Soilers and other antislavery groups, the party's opposition to extending slavery beyond its existing boundaries came from economic and political reasons rather than from moral outrage. Essentially, the party appealed to the free, white workingman. Its basic tenet was that the American West must be open to free, white labor. Not only were the Republicans opposed to slaves in the West; they wanted all blacks kept out."
So they weren't motivated by righteousness or notions of equality. They just wanted to protect white people's jobs from being "outsourced" to blacks, whether slave or free. That little detail about them wanting to keep all blacks out of the new U.S. territories is something we just don't hear about these days.
If anyone wants to look it up, it's on page 204 of both the paperback and hardcover editions.

Nowadays the heirs to abolitionists are anti-WalMart activists and people fighting outsourcing. The heirs to the Republicans are the Democrats. And the heirs to the slavers are Republicans.

So, where is our Lincoln and how do we get him to abolish slavery?
The next Lincoln is going to be whoever convinces a key portion of the business establishment that it's in their best interests to abolish slavery.

As Saul Alinsky found, you don't get a businessman's attention by appealing to his better instincts. You get it by appealing to his bottom line.
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