Obama is No Lincoln
October 11, 2011 Leave a comment
Below are excerpts from an article written by FRANK MIELE posted on the Daily Inter Lake website on Sunday, July 12, 2009. The article is titled “Lincoln’s warning: Beware changes brought about by ‘towering genius’”. Miele contrasts the protector and conservator of the union, Abraham Lincoln, using Lincoln’s own words and the ambitious, legacy driven, Barack Obama hoping to be seen as Lincolnesque:
Lincoln warned against those who would strive to reshape the institutions of America for their own purposes of legacy building, and it is worth considering today whether President Obama and his “transformational” presidency would fall under Lincoln’s watchful eye as a potential danger….
“Men of ambition and talents’ will continue to spring up among us, he warns – men comparable to “an Alexander, a Caesar, or a Napoleon” – and, when they do, “they will… naturally seek the gratification of their ruling passion, as others have so done before them… Is it unreasonable then to expect, that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time, spring up among us? And when such a one does, it will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs.”…
“Towering genius disdains a beaten path.” Lincoln warns us. “It seeks regions hitherto unexplored… It thirsts and burns for distinction; and, if possible, it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves, or enslaving freemen.”…
“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”..
Lincoln referred to the arrival of an ambitious leader as one such “probable case” and classifies it as “highly dangerous’ to the future of the union.
“Distinction will be ‘such a leader’s’ paramount object; and although he would as willingly, perhaps more so, acquire it by doing good as harm; yet, that opportunity being past, and nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would set boldly to the task of pulling down.”
“Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defense. Let those [materials’ be molded into general intelligence, ‘sound] morality and, in particular, a reverence for the Constitution and laws,” said Lincoln.