Abraham Lincoln fought the slave state South in defence of the Union and, along the way, he abolished slavery. The "Party of Lincoln" however came to an end when Richard Nixon and his henchman, Lee Atwater, embraced the Rebel grievance and claimed the slave state South alienated by the Democrats' civil rights movement. Think of it as Nixon's pact with the Devil.
Racism as a political commodity. Here's how Atwater explained the "Southern Strategy" -
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
For decades the Republicans have been trying to deny they're a party of racists but their new presidential candidate, Donald Trump, is straining that claim to the breaking point.
What is really testing Republican credibility are Trump's blatantly racist remarks about an American-born judge of Mexican ancestry who is currently presiding over a case involving Trump. Trump has sought to denigrate the judge, calling him a Mexican, and saying that, because of Trump's promise to wall off Mexico, the judge must step down.
Trump's remarks have been denounced by a host of Republican notables. They all agree what he's said is unquestionably racist. Yet they also all support their acknowledged racist for president of the United States.
Meanwhile Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, was left to mutter how "The party of Lincoln wants to win the White House."
There are a few Republican holdouts, among them South Carolina senator, Lindsey Graham.
“If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, told the New York Times. “There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”
“There are a lot of people who want to be loyal to the Republican Party, including me,” Graham told NBC on Tuesday. “There’ll come a point in time where we’re gonna have to understand that it’s not just about the 2016 race, it’s about the future of the party, and I would like to support our nominee: I just can’t.”
Maybe, just maybe, Donald Trump will be the wheel on which the Republican Party is broken as Lindsey Graham suggests. If so he could be the best thing that happened to the GOP in generations. I'm sure old Abe would be pleased to see his broken party reborn.