The Election of 1860

It is now common that every presidential election is labeled as the one that “will shape our country’s future.” Certainly, every election, as they say, “has consequences.” It is also certain that this election will have enormous consequences.

The nation faced another determinative election in 1860. It is worth contemplating several key facts from that controversial period:

· Race was at the center of the issues of the day, focused on the question of slavery and the rights of the individual states

· There were four candidates for president, with two separate Democratic nominees

· Abraham Lincoln was not even on the ballot in ten of the southern states

· Even as Covid-19 has held down “traditional” campaigning, there was only a limited amount of national campaigning by any candidate

· Lincoln received only 40 percent of the popular vote, but the needed 180 electoral votes and was designated as the President-Elect

· Eleven Southern states seceded before his inauguration.

We do not know at this point how this election will turn out. We do know that regardless of the winner, there will be a great deal of anguish and conflict on the side of the loser and their supporters. Many are simply disappointed that the only candidates offered are “two old white guys” and see no hope regardless.

At the heart of the two parties are many conflicting views relative to economics and the role of the American Free Enterprise System. Many of us are discouraged to see this conflict and lack of gratitude for what this nation represents. We must not let that disappointment dissuade us from standing and defending that system. No matter the victor tomorrow, we have work to do between now and the next inauguration.

We can have no Fort Sumters as a response to this election. There is important and difficult work to be done in the coming months and years. We are moving forward to ensure there are Free Enterprise Warriors involved in that work!

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