Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Watershed Elections: Lincoln in 1860, Obama in 2008


In 1860, Abraham Lincoln won a four-way electoral presidential election with a plurality of votes, mostly on sectional lines, mostly free states vs. slaveholding states.


Today, just before the essentially two-way 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama has a much stronger hand than Lincoln did in 1860. He is, in fact, on the verge of winning a clear majority of both electoral and popular votes.

Today in a post-slavery setting, there is not any chance at all that any states, let alone sectional blocs, will secede from the Union if he wins.

It's also worth pointing out that while Lincoln ushered in the Republican Party's first victory at the presidential level, today it's the Democratic party that carries the Lincoln legacy, and it is the Republican Party that may disintegrate into fragments -- a Palinist right wing of "whack jobs," and a rump GOP wing that's more moderate. Time will tell. Obama needs to win first.

I'm thinking the election will be decided in Obama's favor next Tuesday night, before 10 p.m. "elite" Eastern Standard Time. Then we can get to work at securing needed policy changes, mopping up, and moving forward as a society and nation.

Today's Rune: Partnership.

6 comments:

Distributorcap said...

oh we shouldnt be celebrating early -- but can we get champagne at 9pm.....

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm not sure you can judge a watershed election until you look back on it after a couple of decades.

the walking man said...

After the past two elections and the voodoo politics since the turn of the millennium I will not breathe easy until it's all over. Either way though, no matter who wins, I will not fear the darkness because even in absolute night there is illumination.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks all for the comments!

This is no doubt a watershed election. As many contemporaries well understood *at the time* in 1860 and 1932, one can see why -- the Great Upheavals and need for something new, something fresh.

YogaforCynics said...

"there is not any chance at all that any states, let alone sectional blocs, will secede from the Union if he wins."

Gotta admit, at this point, I wouldn't mind at all if a couple did--then, this election's been hard on all of us, I guess.

Love that "God save this mad parade"--nothing like a Sex Pistols quote first thing in the morning....

Anonymous said...

I agree with with TWM. Enjoyed the posts Erik. MW.