Brunswick Beacon, 03.02.23
President’s Day featured two events that illustrate how much our pollical parties have changed. Democratic President Joe Biden traveled to a war zone at great personal risk. With air raid sirens blaring, Biden met President Zelenskyy in Kyiv to demonstrate a united America’s commitment to defending Democracy. Safe at home, Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene called on red states to secede.
She’s not alone. On Jan. 6, 2021, Donald Trump became the first president to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power by inciting an insurrection. Last May he “retruthed” a post calling for "Civil War.”
Following Trump’s lead, the Republican Party of Texas approved a 2022 platform declaring that Biden was “not legitimately elected by the people of the United States" and calling for a referendum on secession so Texas can “reassert its status as an independent nation.”
Republican Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and newly-announced candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, thinks that’s A-OK. When Haley appeared before a pro-Confederate group and was asked “Do you believe the states of the United States have the right to secede from the Union?” she replied, “I think that they do. I mean, the Constitution says that.” No, Governor, it doesn’t. That was settled long ago by the Supreme Court and the Civil War her state began.
Which brings me to Abraham Lincoln. Historians rank him America’s greatest president. He ended slavery, won the Civil War and preserved the Union. Before Biden, he was the only president whose election was greeted by an insurrection. He was also the only president before Biden to visit a war zone not under American control.
Lincoln, the first Republican president, wouldn’t recognize his party. In Lincoln’s time, it was Democrats who seceded. A poll taken six months after Trump’s insurrection shows 66% of Southern Republicans support secession.
If Lincoln were alive today, he’d be a Democrat!