Streetwise Professor

December 23, 2009

Where Is Our Lincoln: One More Thought On Kansas-Nebraska & Obamacare

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 1:59 pm

The Kansas-Nebraska Act catalyzed Lincoln’s return to politics from a very lucrative, and successful legal career.  Which raises the question: Will a Lincoln emerge from our current struggles to assume the mantle of leadership in fighting the metastasizing state?

It is almost certain that, as in the mid-1850s, any such leader will not be a currently active political figure.  Like the Whigs in that era, the modern Republicans are a party of Lilliputians, intellectually mediocre (I am feeling generous today), not committed to any strong political principle, content to enjoy the status and perks of office, out of touch with the ferment in the country.

Lincoln seemingly came from nowhere, but in a sense his entire life was spent preparing for the opportunity that Stephen Douglas created with the Kansas-Nebraska Act.  Given that entry into politics is much costlier now, than then, I doubt that a new Lincoln, or even a pale imitation thereof, will emerge.  But, if Bismarck was right about that special providence for the United States of America, perhaps one will.

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