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Lincoln and Roosevelt would be kicked out of the GOP

2014-07-20T00:00:00Z Lincoln and Roosevelt would be kicked out of the GOP The Billings Gazette
July 20, 2014 12:00 am

I read with much amusement A. J. Otjen's guest opinion in the July 8 Opinion page.

In her editorial, Otjen advocated that the Republican Party return to the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Not a bad idea, but while Otjen can appreciate that these two giants of American history were among the most progressive and forward-thinking statesmen in our history, I doubt their philosophies would play well with the current Republican establishment.

Both Roosevelt's and Lincoln's policies, with the possible exception of Roosevelt's tendency toward militarism in dealing with foreign affairs, would put them squarely in the liberal camp in today's political landscape. To think the ultra-conservative party that the GOP has become would accept them and their political philosophies is so far from reality that it's ludicrous.

Both Lincoln and Roosevelt would be run out of today's Republican establishment so fast it would make your head spin. In fact, Roosevelt was. After being denied the Republican presidential nomination in 1912, he left the party to form the Progressive "Bull Moose" party. As for Lincoln, I'm pretty sure he'd be appalled at today's reactionary Republican party.

And while I can appreciate Otjen's call for the GOP to return a more reasonable and middle-of-the-road stance, to go back to the policies of Roosevelt and Lincoln would put them somewhere in the middle of the Democratic party of today. Talk about wishful thinking.

Gerald R. Kessler


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