Regardless what one thinks of presidents of the past, be they good or bad, there is a general acknowledgement that Lincoln is one of the “great presidents” of America alongside George Washington, Jackson, Roosevelt, FDR, and Kennedy. This is regardless of the particular political idol being presented for worship in the temple of public opinion, be it for the Democrats or Republicans.
One of the dangerous things that I have warned about is the rise of political cults, be it on the left or the right. Last year I warned that the Trump movement has become a cult of personality and that as a result people were willing to overlook or ignore major flaws in President Trump to support his cult because they want to be like him.
The proof of this cult-like status of Trump was recently confirmed by a study where more than half of Republicans declared that Trump was a better president than Lincoln, to the majority disagreement by Democrats and Independents.
The Economist and YouGov conducted a poll from Nov. 24-26 of 1,500 American adults. In the wide-ranging poll, researchers asked Americans to compare Trump to past U.S. presidents.
Fifty-three percent of Republicans said that Trump is a better president than Lincoln. For Democrats and Independents, Lincoln is considered to have been the better president with 94% and 78%, respectively.
Republican adults were the only segment polled that considered Trump to be a better president than Lincoln.
Researchers conducted the poll days after House Democrats wrapped up the first round of public hearings in the impeachment proceedings into Trump. Democrats may decide to conduct more hearings after Thanksgiving or pass impeachment articles against the president, which would lead to a trial in the Senate. (source)
Now the fact is that most people in the country do not think this way, and that this mindset is limited primarily to Republican constituents. As a comparison, it would be interesting to see if, at a similar moment, Democrats thought the same about Obama circa 2011.
But what is so interesting here is that as politics has become more polarize, as people have become less rational and just angrier overall, the ability to have a reasonable discourse- be it agreement or disagreement on a topic -quickly becomes something that is difficult to impossible to have anymore. Political candidate worship as well as party worship without using said term becomes the normal way of operation, and people lose their minds when it comes to supporting their candidate.
Lincoln has many flaws, but it is difficult to say that Trump is superior to him if one takes an objective view. The same could be said about Obama. However, the purpose here is not who is “better” or not, but to take away the air of religiousity that is placed around these men and rather to see them as men for all their points, good, bad, and ugly, and to judge them based on these.
As the study noted, this comes at a time with a lot of tension over the political situation in Ukraine and which a potential “scandal” involving Trump is taking place. The “scandal” is really non-existent, and is there to cover for what appears to be a series of US black-bag operations meant to secure American interests in Europe to prevent a re-formation of a Molotov-Ribbentrop type agreement between Germany and Russia as well as to prepare for a future asset seizure of Russia’s oil supplies (for those wanting to know more about this, Ted will have a special piece coming out on this tonight).
Given this study happened at the time of this “scandal”, perhaps what the study has revealed is that when such things arise, they tend to push people to rally around their “leader” and in the moment to perceive him to be somebody who is “larger than life” even if he really is not, especially once people step back and look at the reality of the situation. However, for a politician in an election year who wants to get re-elected, nothing could be more perfect, as all he needs is support in the moment to secure another term in office.