Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Lincoln for President

Only first-time viewers need the notice that I am a big fan of Abraham Lincoln. And we all should know by now that President Obama is as well. He frequently references Lincoln directly or uses his words or phraseology sometimes without attribution. But if you live in his old house, I guess that's OK. He also claims to have read Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals which helps explain Secretary of State Clinton. And that's working out better than even Lincoln & Seward.

So, I thought I would do a little check to see how well Governor Romney reaches for the Lincoln ideal, or even the rhetoric. I found this:
The best ally world peace has ever known is a strong America. The “last best hope of earth” was what Abraham Lincoln called our country. Mitt Romney believes in fulfilling the promise of Lincoln’s words and will defend America abroad in word and in deed.- From Romney's campaign webpage.
Lincoln's quote in context from the last paragraph of his Message to Congress, December 1, 1862:
Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We -- even we here -- hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to theslave, we assure freedom to the free -- honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just -- a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.
Hardly support for an "American Century" dominate-the-world sentiment. Yikes.

A Romney fan site references Romney quoting Lincoln's 1838 Lyceum Address:
"I subscribe in some respects to what Abraham Lincoln said in -- well, it goes to the Lyceum Address when, at age 28, he said, you know what, in America there is something called the political religion. It's our adherence to the laws of the land, to our oath of office." Governor Mitt Romney – Interview with Brian Lamb of C-SpanFrom IL 4 Mitt Romney
The blogger states he will compile a list of Lincoln quotes by Romney with a link. The only quote listed there is the Lyceum Address already referenced above. Maybe like so many bloggers, the guy got busy doing other things. I would be interested in other Lincoln quotes by Romney. I'm not saying that it's a principal qualification to be President. It's just that from my personal political philosophy, it sure helps me know where they're coming from. If anybody has anymore, let me know.

So, while thinking about Romney and Lincoln, I wondered if the President had made any references to Lincoln in his address to the UN yesterday. Yep:
"We have taken these positions because we believe that freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture. These are not simply American values or Western values – they are universal values. And even as there will be huge challenges that come with a transition to democracy, I am convinced that ultimately government of the people, by the people and for the people is more likely to bring about the stability, prosperity, and individual opportunity that serve as a basis for peace in our world." -President Obama to the UN September 25, 2012..
And there is this from the final lines of the speech that sure sounds like Lincoln, but I can't find a quote source linking to POTUS-16. Speaking of the thousands of Libyans who marched against violence and those in support of our tragic Ambassador, Chris Stevens:
"They should give us hope. They should remind us that so long as we work for it justice will be done; that history is on our side; and that a rising tide of liberty will never be reversed."
So let's suppose President Obama is an utter and absolute failure and he's just a good speaker with a prepared text. He is at least trying to promote the ideals of Lincoln not just in our country but around the world. How could I not like that?

1 comment:

  1. I have always been impressed with the humility and humanity of Lincoln's actions and speeches.


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