I will not appear at political rallies, or at any event in which my appearance
would imply endorsement of a particular political viewpoint:
Abraham Lincoln was a great man and a great politician. I portray him in order to entertain and to teach people about him, in as historically accurate a manner as I possibly can. When I make a representation as Abraham Lincoln, I believe the historical evidence is that he believed or behaved the way I present him.
Over the years I have met many people who are quite certain they know how Mr. Lincoln would feel about a particular issue. They almost always assume that BECAUSE he was a great man, he would OBVIOUSLY agree with them. I WILL NOT PRESUME to speak for Mr. Lincoln’s politics beyond those positions he took while he was alive. Both sides in most political debates could learn a lot about Lincoln’s approach to any question.
I had someone send me a question (as Mr. Lincoln), asking who “I” would vote for in the 2000 election. This was my reply:
“You have asked a great question. I apologize for the delay in responding to your question, but after a great deal of thought, I simply cannot give you a good answer. I expect and hope that between my time and yours, there will have been many advances in technology and in society. I certainly hope that the attitudes toward Negroes will have changed, and that women will finally be given the right to vote.
I cannot tell simply on the basis of their parties after so many years; as I once said, the parties in MY time reminded me of two young men who had fought and fought so hard that they had fought themselves out of their own coats and right into the other man’s.
I have always believed in the principle that men should be responsible for their own advancement in life, but that the government should help where it can effectively do so. I believed in the rights of the states to govern themselves, but also that the Federal Government had a duty to protect the individual citizens from the states when necessary. I believed in the rights of business and property owners, but I also believed in the rights of the laborers, and that in most instances strikers were justified in their actions. My political beliefs are based on long, careful analysis of the situation. Above all I believed in the sacred duty to work toward an ideal government that is based on the principle that “all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
I suspect that in your time there will be many who believe they know who I would vote for. For myself, I do not know.”
That was my response. I have my own ideas of how Mr. Lincoln would think on particular topics, but those ideas are, by their nature, biased.
AKA Abraham Lincoln