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http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/opinion/campaign-stops/the-man-the-founders-feared.html?_r=0
The Man the Founders Feared

...It is stunning to contemplate, particularly for those of us who are lifelong Republicans, but we now live in a time when the organizing principle that runs through the campaign of the Republican Party’s likely nominee isn’t adherence to a political philosophy — Mr. Trump has no discernible political philosophy — but an encouragement to political violence...

...Mr. Trump’s supporters will dismiss this as hyperbole, but it is the only reasonable conclusion that his vivid, undisguised words allow for...

In 1838, as a 28-year-old state legislator, Abraham Lincoln delivered an address at the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Ill. The speech was given in the aftermath of the lynching of a mixed-race boatman and the burning of a black abolitionist newspaper editor. Lincoln warned that a “mobocratic spirit” and “wild and furious passions” posed a threat to republican institutions. He also alerted people to the danger of individuals — “an Alexander, a Caesar or a Napoleon?” — who, in their search for glory and power, might pose a threat to American self-government.

“Is it unreasonable, then, to expect that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time spring up among us?” Lincoln asked.

The antidote to this threat, Lincoln argued, was to cultivate a “political religion” that emphasized “reverence for the laws.” Passion was our enemy, he warned; it had to be contained. “Reason — cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason — must furnish all the materials for our future support and defense.”...

The reasons for the rise of Mr. Trump are undoubtedly complicated and will be studied for decades to come. That Mr. Trump’s rise has occurred in the Republican Party is painful for those of us who are Republicans....we can no longer deny what Mr. Trump is and what he represents. The prospect of turning the party apparatus over to such a person is sickening.


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