The Greatest Republican (or American)

by Jay Nordlinger

Earlier today, I had a post in which I spoke of a picture — a picture of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and the Obamas at the Lincoln Memorial. I said there were no Republicans in sight. The incomparable Kevin Williamson wrote me to say, “Correction: There is one Republican in that picture.”

For a second, I thought he was alluding to Clinton’s capitulation to Republican welfare reform and NAFTA. But then I realized: Lincoln.

Which gave me a memory — a recent memory, and not a good one. Last year, I quoted a Reuters report, concerning Steven Spielberg and his movie about Lincoln:

“Don’t let this political football play back and forth,” the Oscar-winning director said he urged distributors, noting the “confusing” aspect in the film that shows how U.S. political parties back in Lincoln’s time “traded political places over the last 150 years.”

In contrast to today, the Republican party to which Lincoln belonged was founded by anti-slavery activists and Republicans were often tagged “radicals.”

I said, “Funny, but I still think of the Republicans as a party of freedom, if not the party of freedom. I don’t think the parties have traded places. You?” I also think that the GOP is conscious of human dignity — including for the unborn. I further think we stand for a dollop of decency in a Miley Cyrus, foam-finger world.

But then, as we all know — or at least I know — a great many conservatives abide by the old slogan “Vote Right, live Left.”