I think it’s always risky to go back into history and, from our own perspective, say what would have happened…If…
And yet, watching Fancy Farm over the weekend on KET, where the modern descendants of Mr. Lincoln’s party (and Tom Jefferson’s) comported themselves, I suspect our 16th president would have wept.
Here were grown men and women, many bused in for the occasion, yelling and screaming, all designed to drown out the views of another person with whom they disagreed. Un-Democratic in the extreme…and un-Republican, too.
Lincoln and, at the time, the much better known, Stephen Douglas debated the issues of the day, especially Slavery, in 7 debates in a state not so far away, Illinois. Many were outdoors, like Fancy Farm. Many were at night, the area lit by giant torches. From the platform they spoke..with no public address system to carry their voices and their arguments. Can you imagine what it would have meant to these two men..and to the idea of our democracy,---and History--- had there been the din we witnessed at Fancy Farm?
It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. That line has been crossed at Fancy Farm many times, and I have heard worse..but that does not mean it was right. Something needs to be done by the organizers to restore sanity---and common courtesy---to what is a great Kentucky (and American) tradition. Steps were taken some time back when portable bullhorns were banned, and other noisemakers. (The Bevin supporters violated this rule by ringing bells, but that was but a minor distraction).
After all why are we there? To hear from candidates for public office, some quite important (including even a possible President down the line..) Hear them out, then disagree. The organizers must try to get a handle on this before next year.
After all, Mr. Lincoln was a Kentuckian.
Let us continue this proud tradition as he would have us do so.
I'm just sayin'...