U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is seen in one of five poses taken by photographer Alexander Gardner in Washington on Feb.5, 1865, from the archives of the Library of Congress.
Photo by Library of Congress/Reuters

Let Me Finish: The assassination of Lincoln

Let me finish with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, who was shot 150 years ago today.

He was killed because he fought and won a war that saved the union. He was killed fighting still for the right of freed American slaves to vote.

And now the Republican party he helped to start is out there in a systematic effort to keep the children of those freed slaves from voting.

I’ve brought this up before and will again. This is no way to win the hearts and minds of Americans. We are a competitive people. We love a hot rivalry. We love rooting for our side and we don’t like bad calls. We don’t like the very idea of a biased ref or umpire.

And this is the heart of the matter.

If Republicans can’t win an election in which everyone votes, does anybody truly want them out there trying to make sure certain people don’t?

You know, I don’t think so. Does any true American want to see a sports team picked on the basis of anything other than talent? Does any true American want to put up obstacles that keep minorities from participating in any of our national contests?

Then, why do the people running the Republican party – starting with Rheince Priebus – oversee a national effort in three dozen states to create voter laws that make it hard for minorities, especially older minorities, from exercising the right Abraham Lincoln died fighting to get them?

This is a scar on the Grand Old Party. Who can blame Marco Rubo out there as the candidate of youth and the future? But who can “not” blame the Republican party itself from reverting to the bad old days of Jim Crow and poll taxes and bogus “literacy tests?”

Practically everyone who comes to Washington, DC, marches up the many steps of the Lincoln Memorial to pay tribute to the man who freed the slaves, the man who saved the union, passed the 13th amendment outlawing slavery and died pushing for voting rights for those who were freed.

It’s time for Rheince Pribus and the rest of today’s GOP leaders to get up on those stairs and pay true tribute to their party’s – and the country’s – finest president.