Lincoln’s Party, Lincoln’s Land

Joey here.

The leader of the Party of Lincoln has, as of January 11, 2021, effectively ended asylum in the United States.  See Human Rights First’s bulletin, Rule to Block Asylum Seekers from Protection Finalized in Last Days of Trump Administration.

The original leader of the Party of Lincoln—Abraham Lincoln—said to Germans in Cincinnati in 1861:

[F]oreigners are all of the great family of men, and if there is one shackle upon any of them, it would be far better to lift the load from them than to pile additional loads upon them. . . .  [I]f they can better their condition by leaving their old homes, there is nothing in my heart to forbid them coming; and I bid them all God speed.

Lincoln’s Party is very different today.

In January 2021, our friends at nonpartisan Human Rights First, under a new Administration and with our help, will redouble efforts to end the lawlessness that has denied justice to immigrants and refugees.

Meanwhile, we’ve pedaled 1060 miles on our pandemic “virtual” Ride.  We “passed through” western Wyoming and “reached” Wanship, Utah.  We’re only 53 miles from our 2020 destination, Provo.

In lieu of mountains, we biked in Central Park.  Speaking of Germans . . .

German composer Beethoven.
German poet Schiller.
Composer Herbert immigrated to the U.S. from Germany.

Later we biked to Times Square. Before the pandemic, pedestrian tourists swarmed its bike lanes.

Eastbound on West 44th Street. Ah, the open road!
George M. Cohan, son of Irish immigrants, gives his regards to Broadway.
Father Duffy, Canadian-born priest of World War I fame.
A bit more of Times Square.

On another day, Nancy joined us to look at Fifth Avenue shop windows decorated for the December holidays.

Nancy, over whom Jeffrey fawns, holding Joey near a Bergdorf-Goodman window inscribed “LOVE”.
Nancy is handy with special effects.
A demonstration on behalf of India’s farmers passed Trump Tower. According to, the president was then at Trump National Golf Club in Potomac, Virginia.  It was his 293rd presidential visit to a Trump golf course.

With “Patience” at the New York Public Library. A few feet to the north is the other lion, “Fortitude”.

Macy’s is still open: a pandemic Miracle on 34th Street.
A Macy’s window thanking New Yorkers in multiple languages.
Jeffrey and me near the Flatiron Building: “23 Skidoo!”
Nancy took this special-effect photo near Madison Square Park.
“Under This Monument • Lies the Body of • [Major General] William Jenkins Worth • Born in Hudson N. Y. • March 1 1794 • Died in Texas • May 7 1849”. Congressman Lincoln demanded to know where on U.S. soil the blood had been shed that led President Polk to order the invasion of Mexico. The president never answered.
By the Hudson River, we met Jack and Julia. They were among the locals who called out to us that day, to ask about the Ride.

Say what you will of NYC—everyone has a place here.  A kangaroo puppet and a country bumpkin fit right in with the Beethovens and the Cohans, the Times Square gawkers and the Macy’s shoppers, the people speaking over 600 languages who made Manhattan into Russell Shorto’s “Island at the Center of the World”.

In his 2020 book, Shakespeare in a Divided America, James Shapiro cites Shakespeare’s “principle of exclusion”; certain characters (among them Malvolio and Shylock) “are left out of the charmed circle of inclusion at play’s end.”  Shapiro wrote:

American identity has been formed on analogous lines: we define ourselves against those whom we reject, keep out, or lock up.

It’s shameful that New Yorkers have excluded newcomers.  In 1654, Peter Stuyvesant tried to expel Jews who had fled the Inquisition in Brazil.  The Irish were persecuted in the 1800s until they became a voting bloc.  Africans, Asians, Southern and Eastern Europeans—lots of people took a turn on the outs.

But the exclusions didn’t last.  Reviled peoples come here in numbers, establish themselves, and in time are accepted in this city where every group is a minority.

Some politicians say that this makes NYC foreign.  They say that the Real America is some relatively homogeneous Heartland.


The Real America is every place in our country where, in the spirit of Lincoln and the true Party of Lincoln, every person of goodwill can find a home.

4 thoughts on “Lincoln’s Party, Lincoln’s Land

    • Happy New Year. May 2021 bring peace and health and justice for all. Keep Riding Writing and Talking the talk !! Joey and Jeffrey. We are with you. Mimi


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