Heal or Else!

Recently, National Review Online ran an editorial from a Kent Lassman. Mr. Lassman contends that president-elect Bush would do well to emulate Abraham Lincoln in order “to heal the wounds of a bitterly divided nation.”

Now, this got me thinking. What sort of Lincoln-like measures could Dubya put in place to help “heal the wounds” of our nation? I decided to list a few. I’ve taken some liberties here, in that a couple of the items in question parallel something Lincoln’s Republican successors put in place. But given all that Lincoln had already done on the “wound healing” front, no doubt he would have approved.

Anyway, Governor Bush, here are a few items I think would place you solidly in the tradition of your GOP forefathers:

  • Suspend habeas corpus and jail prominent Gore supporters. If Jesse Jackson is rotting in a jail cell with no hope for a trial, how’s he going to keep up his ridiculous agitation? Lincoln managed to squirrel away about 20,000 trouble makers this way!
  • Shut down The NY Times, The Washington Post, and other papers that supported Gore. Lincoln shut over three hundred opposition papers. Hey, once those Dem mouthpieces are closed down, who is left to complain?
  • It would be a clever idea to threaten to arrest the Supreme Court justices who voted against you on December 12th. After Lincoln did this with Chief Justice Taney, he had far fewer problems with pesky judges.
  • Try blockading the ports of New York and Los Angeles. That will teach them the error of their voting ways, and help to reconcile them to lasting GOP rule.
  • Carve new states, more likely to vote Republican, out of states that went to Gore. Taking an example from Lincoln’s extra-Constitutional creation of West Virginia out of Virginia, Bush should immediately create the new states of North New York (be careful to leave out Buffalo!), West Washington, and Rural Pennsylvania. Six new GOP senators and a batch of guaranteed electoral votes for 2004.
  • Why not have Colin Powell undertake a little “march” through some Gore territory, with maybe a little burnin’ and lootin’ along the way?
  • For the 2002 elections, taking a tip from the election of 1864, it would be a good idea to flood the polling places of states that might go Democratic with military personnel instructed to vote Republican. Since, of course, Dubya’s not running in 2002.
  • Once you’ve got the opposition on the run, how about amending the Constitution? Make it an act of treason to have publicly supported for Gore, and forbid anyone who did so from holding public office – see Amendment 14 for tips on how to write this up. That should thin the ranks of potential Democratic candidates for 2004!
  • In case any of the pro-Gore states are still acting up, military occupation should do the trick! After a dozen or so years, they should have healed sufficiently that you can pull the troops out.

Thanks to Myles Kantor’s “Getting Right with Lincoln as a Libertarian” and Charles Adams’s When in the Course of Human Events for information on some of Lincoln’s “healing remedies.”

December 20, 2000

Gene Callahan is a regular contributor to

2000, Gene Callahan