The Lincoln Link
In politics, not even the dead get to rest. The great statesmen of the past are constantly being resurrected and enlisted in pursuit of some modern cause. In 1923, Arthur Vandenberg, not yet a historically important United States Senator but already a power in Michigan Republican politics as a newspaper editor, wrote an entire book called If Hamilton Were Alive Today. Being a conservative Republican, he thought Hamilton would come down on the conservative side of all the issues—against, for instance, joining the League of Nations and in favor of restricting immigration. He even thought Hamilton would have been in favor of enforcing Prohibition (but thought he’d have been against passing it in the first place.)
About the Author
John Steele Gordon writes regularly for Commentary’s blog. He is the author of seven books, including Hamilton’s Blessing, a history of the national debt, and An Empire of Wealth, a history of the American economy.