Talk to a Republican and within a few minutes he or she will eagerly tell you that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.
Entire libraries have been written about President Lincoln and many of us have read Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It’s an excellent book and I recommend it, but if you want to fully understand President Lincoln’s views on slavery I suggest The Fiery Trial by Eric Foner. This book traces Lincoln’s views on slavery. At first he was ambivalent but eventually he recognized that slavery is wrong because while free people can prosper from intelligence and hard work, slaves could not. No matter how hard they worked and no matter what they invented they (and their descendants) would always be slaves.
His view of people of color was more complicated. He didn’t envision the possibility of a fully integrated society (and there is evidence that he supported freed slaves returning to Africa) but he felt that everyone who lived in the United States could point to the Declaration of Independence‘s promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We all have access to that.
He was our 16th President. What do you think he would say about his fellow Republican Donald Trump our 45th President? I think he would weep.
President Lincoln spoke about “the better angels of our nature” and “with malice toward none, with charity for all.”
On the other hand we have President Trump. On Thursday he was meeting in the White House with a bipartisan group of lawmakers and they were discussing immigration reform. Specifically they were talking about people who come here fleeing some sort of catastrophe (e.g. the 2010 Haitian earthquake). Learning that most of these people came from Africa, Haiti, and El Salvador he asked why we were accepting so many people from shithole countries.
Oh yes, there’s this: President Trump is now denying he ever used that language.