This is the face of an unelectable politician and, no, it is not because he isn’t particularly “telegenic.” It is because his ideas within his beloved Republican Party have become grist for the trash heap.
Consider the very notion that the man I consider to be our nation’s greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, is no longer the voice and face of a party that once called itself “The Party of Lincoln.” President Lincoln held the nation together during its darkest period, during the time when Americans fought each other over slavery and that thing one side referred to as “states’ rights.”
Then, as the Civil War drew to a close and as President Lincoln delivered his second inaugural speech after winning re-election in 1864, he said he would bind the wounds that divided us, that he would proceed with “malice toward none and charity for all.” An assassin struck a month later and denied the president the chance to deliver on his promise.
The party under which he ran for president twice has become something the president wouldn’t recognize. He certainly would not condone the tone it has taken in recent years. It has been hijacked and twisted into a form that bears no resemblance to the party of the so-called “big tent.”
Donald John Trump’s control over the party starting with the 2016 GOP presidential primary campaign has taken it on a destructive course. It’s not that the party is destroying itself. It is that the ideas it promotes has gained new followers who are wedded to the hideous notions espoused by its leader.
The Grand Old Party has become a cult whose followers are infiltrating the ranks of candidates throughout Congress and into statehouses, county courthouses and even into ostensibly non-partisan city halls and school board meeting rooms.
Imagine a Republican with the chops of Abraham Lincoln seeking public office today. Imagine how the 16th president himself would fare were he to become a candidate.
Abraham Lincoln likely couldn’t be elected as a Republican because his party would lack the good sense to nominate him in the first place. The future of civil discourse and debate in this country deserves better than what lies ahead.