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Ed Epstein Was Going to Write This Blog But…

By Wendy Swanson

Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

... now he’s not reporting on our October 18th Great Debate event - he’s one of our debaters! The debate topic that evening will be whether Lincoln was a political conservative or a liberal.

The recent passing of Burrus “Buzz” Carnahan – who served the Lincoln Group twice as president - created a vacancy on our debate stage. Buzz had been scheduled to defend the “Lincoln as a conservative” position during the debate. Ed Epstein, a Lincoln Group board member and blog writer for this website, has graciously agreed to take over this role. It’s a big job to step into the debate shoes of Buzz Carnahan but Ed is ready for the challenge! Dr. Tom Peet will continue to serve as the defender of “Lincoln as a liberal” in the debate. John O'Brien will serve as the debate moderator.

So the debate is on! This will be a Zoom-only program on October 18th – and the price is right: free! The program will start at 6 p.m. with a business meeting. The debate should begin at 6:30 p.m., with a view toward wrapping things up by 8 p.m.

The question being debated – was Lincoln a political conservative or a liberal? – is central to the Lincoln legacy. Today figures from across the political spectrum quote Lincoln in support of their own positions and views. Our debate and discussion will try to get beyond the political labels to discuss Lincoln's underlying political philosophy and how he viewed the role of government in America life. The question at the center of the debate has to be viewed through the prism of today's issues and politics and already has been the focus of many books – some from the liberal point of view; others have offered a much more conservative bent.

The program will work as follows: The moderator will state the question and everyone on the Zoom call can vote to take one side of the question or the other. Ed and Tom will then each get up to 10 minutes to make their case and then the program will be thrown open to everyone for questions to the debaters or comments. There will then be a concluding vote to see if any minds were changed by all the discussion. See our prior blog announcing this event for additional background on the event and discussions of Lincoln, liberal or conservative, issue.

The evening should prove to be an entertaining, as well as informative, one. Everyone will have the opportunity to voice their opinion, if they so wish - or they can just sit back and enjoy. Be there for the lively exchange of words and ideas! So go to the events section of the web site now to sign up to attend the program via Zoom. You'll be glad you did.

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