The Lincoln Project Provides Chance for Unity


The Lincoln Project has led a coalition to advocate against President Trump’s reelection (Courtesy of Twitter).

In a daring move, a Republican-led coalition known as the Lincoln Project deviates from what they refuse to accept as the new standard of Republicanism, or “Trumpism.” However, they not only openly oppose the president, but also seek to play an active role in his defeat this election season.

A relatively small political action coalition formed in late 2019 by a group of former and current Republicans, the Lincoln Project wastes no time in communicating to the American people what type of change they wish to see in the nation: the removal of President Trump from office. One could find themselves dubious of this, seeing as how the group’s homepage reads, “The founders of the Lincoln Project have spent over 200 years electing Republicans. But now, they’ve sparked a nationwide movement with a singular mission: To defeat Donald Trump and Trumpism.” 

This statement alone is a testament to how far our nation is willing to go to enact change. Although the Lincoln Project may have been formed in late 2019, these principles transcend the small organization to values instilled in the early stages of the nation in electing Republicans. However, the Lincoln Project is willing to undo its own work in an effort to demonstrate to Americans across the political aisle that they know Trumpism and Republicanism are two different things, despite what Trump-supporting Republicans want to lead Americans to believe. In a year dominated by political divisions, a small Republican political action group is extending an olive branch of previously unfathomable proportions.  While only four years have passed, it seems like centuries ago when political unity was present in America. 

However, the group has recently come under fire from Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner for displaying billboards in Times Square depicting the two’s lackadaisical and blithe responses to the pandemic next to all of the damage COVID-19 has wrought unto not only New York, but all of America. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are suing the group for allegedly libelous statements and gestures. The statement in question is one supposedly made by Kushner, “That’s their problem,” which the Lincoln Project depicts as Kushner saying to New Yorkers while standing alongside body bags. Ivanka gets similar treatment, as she is seen striking her controversial pose of cradling a can of Goya beans, only to display the grim statistics of deaths due to COVID-19 in New York and the entire nation.

The actions of the Lincoln Project are significant because rather than muting the microphones of those who disagree with President Trump, the group amplifies these American voices by seeking and accentuating commonality, not difference. This is especially important seeing as how difference alone has been on display in America for the last four years, and these differences are exacerbated during an election year of unprecedented proportions. 

Although the Lincoln Project is no Electoral College, the group still carries a voice that is sure to resonate with Americans indiscriminate of political leaning. During the early stages of the 2020 presidential race, the Democratic Party made it clear that its sole objective was the defeat of President Trump, and it was willing to support any candidate who could accomplish such an end. The Lincoln Project, too, operates with the goal of ending the Trump era. In terms of principles, it would be a bit more difficult for Americans to distinguish the difference between these two political organizations in terms of goals for the 2020 presidential election. This unity is what America needs right now. 

Through a year of political mudslinging between Republicans and Democrats as the pandemic began its rampage of destruction through American life, it seemed increasingly difficult to see why and how we could still call ourselves the United States of America. However, it is small groups like the Lincoln Project which remind us why that name will never go out of style; though we as a nation may never agree unanimously on various issues, there are still some things we can agree on. 2020 has been a year of chaos politically, economically and socially.  Putting aside what would be personally ideal to the Lincoln Project — seeing a Republican reelected for a second term —  goes to show that despite political differences, even in the darkest of times, America still knows what it means to stand united. 

In an era of uncertainty, this in of itself speaks volumes about what we can be as a nation if we continue to extend olive branches rather than seek to cut each other down through charged and unnecessarily condemning rhetoric. This is especially vital now during the 2020 presidential election: Not only does the Lincoln Project appeal to Democrats in this respect, but it serves as a beacon for Republicans to follow. It may be what encourages those who are usually loyal conservatives to become swing voters for the first time in years. Every vote counts, and the Lincoln Project may be what turns a previous 2016 red wave into a puddle.

 By seeking to find what can unite American rather than divide us, the Lincoln Project has come one step closer to achieving something our current politicians fail to do: remind us that no matter where we stand on the political spectrum, all of our voices matter this election season, the next and many more to come.

Noah Osborne, FCRH ’23, is a journalism major from Harlem, N.Y.