I love history. I like studying the hidden stories and untold stories of history. The more I study particular times and people in history the more I realize that the popular opinions and even accepted ideas about certain historical events and people is often twisted and changed to benefit people or substantiate actions.
Case in point: With Obama's election and now his inauguration, I continue to hear how much like Lincoln Obama is. I can see some similarities. Both ran as Illinois as their home state. Both believe that bigger government is the best choice for Americans. Both are tall and lanky men.
But how closely related are Obama and Lincoln? Would the men line up on even a majority of their philosophies? I say, "absolutely not". In fact, I say that Lincoln would say that Obama should never be president...not because of his inexperience, his liberal stances or his lack of a production of a birth certificate. Lincoln would say that Obama is not worthy of the office because of the COLOR OF HIS SKIN!!! That's right. Lincoln was indeed "The Great Emancipator" but also would very much be consider a racist today. Would you like proof from Lincoln's own words? Sure. I'm glad you asked...
The words of Lincoln in September, 1858:
"I will say then that I am not nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races -- that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the Negro should be denied everything."
Those words sound more like George Wallace than Barack Obama. If Lincoln thinks "Negroes" are not worthy of even voting or serving as a juror, I think it is safe to say that Lincoln never dreamed it possible for a "Negro" to hold the highest office in the land. Lincoln also seems to support the idea of "separate, yet UN-equal". In fact, since Lincoln seems very much opposed to white people and black people marrying, much less having children...it seems to me that Lincoln would never even support the relationship that lead to the birth of Obama.
With all of that said, Obama wants to tie his boat to Lincoln's legacy...something that Lincoln likely wouldn't favor. So maybe Obama needs to study history a bit before claiming he is so much like Lincoln. Or perhaps Obama has studied history and he wishes to ignore the parts of Lincoln's legacy that serve him. I'm not saying we all don't do that to some degree. I'm just saying that we shouldn't be fooled by rhetoric and false assumptions.
I will also say that while I didn't support Obama and while I think Obama will be remembered in history as one of the least qualified and poorest performing presidents this country has ever seen...I also think it is time that people move forward as much as possible. Maybe these words from Lincoln will help give direction:
"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."