This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

The Republican Party is often called “The Party of Lincoln” after its most eminent historical member. Citizens today argue over whether or not the party has fundamentally changed since its founding by abolitionists in 1854. Some Republicans say that their party was always a  conservative party, and in their narrative, they follow this tradition. Others disagree and maintain that the Republican Party has evolved into a conservative party today, but in the 19th century, did not as a party identify fundamentally with conservatism and maintain that often the Republicans were the ones fighting conservatism.

Reading the works of David Ross Locke (1833-1888) sheds some light on the matter. Locke was editor and later publisher of the Toledo Blade newspaper. He is most famous for inventing and writing from the perspective of the satirical character Petroleum V. Nasby, a lazy and semi-literate Democrat who championed the cause of the Confederacy; Locke’s utilizing a fictional absurdist alter-ego to lampoon those on the other side has led to him being called the “Stephen Colbert of the Civil War.” Lincoln was a big fan of Locke’s work, and would read it for comic relief when he struggled with his emotions during the war; indeed, at his last dinner before his fated trip to Ford’s Theatre, Lincoln reportedly read aloud four chapters of one of Nasby’s screeds for entertainment.

Locke remained a steadfast Republican throughout his life. Even when his colleague Thomas Nast, the cartoonist who had without a doubt been the most famous satirist of the Civil War, would join a group of reformist Republicans (called mugwumps) disenchanted with the 1884 Republican presidential candidate James Blaine’s reputation for corruption in supporting the Democrat Grover Cleveland in 1884,  Locke’s paper strongly endorsed Cleveland’s opponent.

After the Civil War, Locke went on the lecture circuit delivering satirical speeches; I've transcribed one which ridicules “conservatives” for their views on women. It was a popular speech and would be reviewed by Mark Twain himself in the Buffalo Express.

For those using the text in the classroom, I would ask the students to identify Locke’s critiques of conservatism and write an essay about whether or not his critiques could be applied today to modern conservatives in the Republican Party. If so, how, and if not, how conservatives today fundamentally differ in their arguments from the conservatives in Locke’s day.

It's too big for Dailykos, but you can read it here.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Mark Pelta on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:04 AM PST.

Your Email has been sent.