Garrison Keillor writes in (We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore):
How did the Party of Lincoln and Liberty transmogrify into the party of Newt Gingrich’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk?
The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humanity has survived this. The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours. The omens are not good.
Lincoln was no friend of liberty:
My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union.
– Abraham Lincoln
In other words, Lincoln didn't particularly care about slavery one way or the other — he was simply using the slavery issue as a way to maintain power by preventing the Southern states from seceding.
I would argue that the Republicans are returning to the policies of Lincoln–strong centralized government– and abandoning their more recent support for decentralized power. They've also adopted Lincoln's disrespect for constitutional safeguards:
“…[Lincoln] suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus, the only personal liberty law in the Constitution, and ordered the military to arrest tens of thousands of Northern citizens for merely voicing opposition to his administration. This number included hundreds of Northern newspaper editors and owners who criticized the Lincoln administration. None of these individuals was ever served a warrant and some spent four years in military prison without any due process. …”
The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humanity has survived this. The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours. The omens are not good
If the concentration of wealth and power worries you, then you should be just as concerned with a win by John Kerry. Kerry's net worth is 20 times more than George Bush's net worth. All of the top 10 donors out of the top 100 individual contributors in this election are Democrats. As Common Dreams, a liberal advocacy group notes:
The GOP can solicit a greater number of $2,000 donations as a result of wide support in a corporate community…Democrats, in contrast, have depended on trial lawyers and wealthy liberals who do not have large constituencies to draw on.
In other words, Bush has a much broader base of financial support — Democrat John Kerry depends much more heavily on donations from a small number of wealthy individuals.
Methinks Keillor doesn't really mind the concentration of wealth and power — he's just upset that the power isn't being concentrated in the hands he favors.
If Keillor were really concerned about the concentration of power, he would be advocating downsizing government, and returning money and power to individuals and local level goverments. In fact, Keillor's candidtate Kerry wants to expand Federal power as much or more than Bush does, albeit in slightly different areas.
Note that I'm voting for Kerry. However, I don't think he's a better candidate than Bush. His policy proposals are as bad or worse than Bush's. However, as a Democratic president, he won't be able to easily press his agenda through a Republican controlled congress or judiciary. Unlike Bush, who has only too easily been able to expand the size and scope of the Federal government.