From The Queens Village Eagle, January 2013.
America’s most admired president, Abraham Lincoln has been in vogue lately with the release of Steven Spielberg’s widely acclaimed film, Lincoln, a biographical portrait of Lincoln’s anti-slavery crusade. Just as the liberal establishment has repeatedly compared president Obama to Lincoln, they have once again abused and sugar-coated American history in a fictitious and over-rated film.
You may recall that Obama originally announced his candidacy for president from the steps of the old State Courthouse in Springfield, Illinois where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous “House Divided” speech. Everyone, from car manufacturers and banks, to the United States Mint, seeks to capitalize on the Lincoln brand, the most trusted American icon, for promotional purposes. Now the liberal Hollywood elites have hijacked Lincoln again to advance their own nefarious big government agenda.
The Queens Village Republican Club aims to set the record straight with our annual 2013 Lincoln Dinner on February 10, in celebration of our first Republican president, and to restore the GOP, which has long abandoned its idealistic founding principles, to our roots as the “Party of Lincoln.” Our keynote speaker, Rabbi Aryeh Spero, also known as “America’s Rabbi,” is sure to provide the spiritual nourishment to revive the GOP and for all patriotic Americans to be “strengthened and inspired to do the job of reclaiming America,” as he maintains in his new book, “Push Back: Reclaiming the American Judeo-Christian Spirit.”
In a commentary piece for Time Magazine, Joe Klein discusses Spielberg’s new film in the context of politics as a dirty business. He issues the call for liberals to feel justified in using any means necessary to get their agenda passed. Taking cues from the movie, Klein describes Lincoln cutting “all kinds of deals to do great things” and “moving justice forward via the low arts of patronage and patronization” in order to win congressional passage of the 13th Amendment, the abolition of slavery.
If Lincoln were negotiating Obamacare today, Klein claims that he would have used similar unethical tactics as the former Pelosi-Reid Congress to pass the bill, including the infamous “Cornhusker Kickback” deal for the $100 million Medicare bribe to Nebraska for Senator Ben Nelson’s(D) vote. Invoking Lincoln, Klein makes the case that Democrats should feel vindicated that the ends justify the means, in order to achieve their ultimate objectives for the entire cornucopia of liberal causes ranging from single-payer universal healthcare and peace with anti-American tin-pot dictators and terrorists, to Obama’s goal to “fundamentally transform America.”
However, the film lacks historical fidelity in its sanitized portrayal of Lincoln as the great emancipator of the slaves. It shows the politically correct version of Lincoln as the champion of freedom for blacks and racial equality that is spoon fed to public schools and the popular culture. According to History Professor Gerald Matacotta, Lincoln’s primary objective was for the preservation of the Union. Lincoln was opposed to slavery as an evil institution, because it would undermine a free society. He saw the abolition of slavery as a prerequisite for saving the Union based upon the principles of liberty and individual freedom.
However, Abraham Lincoln shared the belief system of his times that rejected social equality of the races and assimilation. The portrait of Lincoln as a compassionate soul who cared about the downtrodden, and the savior of the blacks is an outright lie, concocted by liberal elites and pompous historians who have co-opted the Lincoln legacy for their own narrative of a compassionate utopian state. Lincoln’s greatness lies in his legacy of honesty, hard work, self-reliance, free enterprise, individual liberty, and not in social engineering programs and cradle-to-grave entitlements for the needy. The so-called guardians of our cultural and political institutions need to stop putting the imprimatur of Lincoln on their destructive big government programs!
One of the film’s faux pas shows Lincoln browbeating his advisors with the admonition that “I am the President of the United States, clothed with immense power, and I expect you to procure those votes.” American historian and writer Joshua Zeitz says it is “unlikely” that Lincoln uttered those exact words. While the Civil War necessitated the expansion of executive power and the suspension of some civil liberties, Lincoln was the champion of individual freedom and smaller government against the invasive power of the state. His fundamental belief was that free individuals contribute to the prosperity of society as they pursue the American dream.
This battle of the individual versus government power is the essence of the battle for the soul of America as well as the partisan war over Lincoln’s legacy. In order to redeem itself after suffering brutal election losses recently, especially in New York, the GOP needs to reclaim its heritage as the “Party of Lincoln” and go back to the time of Lincoln and revive the founding principles of our nation. The birth of the Republican Party and its first Republican president ushered in a new era of individual freedom and free enterprise that resonated with the emerging middle class of workers, entrepreneurs and pioneers.
The upcoming Lincoln Dinner honor ceremonies and luminary speakers aim to do just that – to revive the first principles of the Party, to likewise usher in a new era for the hard working middle class of America now being enslaved under an entitlement state of monstrous debt, reckless spending and a diminishing dollar. We will be treated to the keynote address delivered by Rabbi Aryeh Spero, who has been touring the country with his inspiring message for all patriotic Americans that “there is nothing more worthwhile and urgent than our battle for the soul of America” and that “if we don’t want America to be taken from us, and if we don’t want our children robbed of their heritage….now is the time to fight for it!”
Rabbi Spero is president of the Caucus for America, and America’s leading authority on the nexus of faith and freedom. He has appeared regularly on FOX News, CBS, C-SPAN, WOR-TV, the Glenn Beck TV program and many others. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers and he has been interviewed and debated liberals on radio shows throughout the country. He has spoken to the National Press Club, testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee, has addressed The Heritage Foundation, has fired up Tea Party rallies and NYS Conservative Party events. He founded a conservative think tank of Black and Jewish political conservatives with Herman Cain, and was the first rabbi to endorse Ronald Reagan for President in public newspaper ads around the country. See about page for more details about Rabbi Spero.
We look forward to being revitalized by the enlightening words of “America’s Rabbi” to reclaim the “Party of Lincoln.”