A. Lincoln, Socialist?

A while ago, I was dumbstruck by a comment a Republican party insurgent in Utah made about her former governor, Jon Huntsman, Jr., a Republican politician who received strong kudos from the libertarian Cato Institute. “‘On a good day, a socialist,’ said Darcy Van Orden, a co-founder of Utah Rising . . . . ‘On a bad day, he’s a communist’.” And, of course, people like Ms. Van Orden consider it obvious that Barack Obama is a socialist, if not worse. David Koch, one of the brother team of conservative financial angels, commented, for example, that Obama’s “father was a hard core economic socialist in Kenya . . . [and Obama] was apparently from what I read a great admirer of his father’s points of view.”

Abraham Lincoln It is striking how the term “socialist” has been redefined so that almost any policy and anyone can get that label. Indeed, many a past president would qualify by these standards ­ surely FDR, Truman, and Democrats through Clinton ­ but so would Republican presidents. By the standards of people such as Ms. Van Orden and David Koch, Abraham Lincoln was surely an out-and-out “socialist-communist.”

Lincoln Socialism
Let’s consider the Lincoln record. During just one term (plus 45 days), Lincoln managed to do the following “socialist-communist” acts: (Continue Reading on Metropolis Café)

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