Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama Is Like Lincoln. Seriously?

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 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."


TnknOutLoud said...

"I think Obama will be remembered in history as one of the least qualified and poorest performing presidents this country has ever seen"
Come on, Blake you gave him a total of 48 hrs in office before you predicted his demise. Is that really fair?

Blake said...

Welcome back Mr. Hodo.

I think it is fair to a degree. His qualifications (or lack of them) for the job can be weighed prior to his first day in office. I think by anyone's standards it is fair to say that Obama's credentials are lacking. In fairness I can say that credentials aren't always an accurate measure of how someone will perform.

My opinion that Obama will be remembered as one who performed poorly isn't based on how he has done in 48 hours. I base that only on what he says he wants to do and how likely it is that Congress will help him do what he says he wants to do. If he is successful by his own standards I think it will be a poor performance and history will reflect as much.

I have been wrong many times before and may be wrong with this opinion but at the end of the day it is just an opinion.
Speaking of opinions, are you pleased thus far with the executive orders and proposed legislation with the Obama presidency?

TnknOutLoud said...

As you well know I DID support this president (to the chagrin of my wife). I too understood the critics reservations about his "lack of experience". He was just a freshman senator so his Washington time was brief. Even though he was elected twice to the IL state senate, that apparently doesn't carry over as reasonable "experience". I think that lack of experience in Washington combined with his campaign pledge to bring about a change was the winning combination. Of course the best campaigning that was done for Obama was by the previous administration. They insured that anything resembling republican wouldn't be welcomed on the presidential platform this election and the last republican standing didn't look republican @ all to many voters.
That said, I understand Obama is just a man and we are in a fallen world, but called to love and believe in people(love believes all things hopes all things...) I struggled to believe in the last president and I imagine you are having some similar struggles with the current one. My impression of our president so far, he is exceeding my expectations.

Blake said...

You are correct that Obama was handed the presidency by Bush and those with whom Bush chose to surround himself. That's just one more reason why Bush isn't my favorite person either. It seems that human nature tends to lean to the extremes and I think Bush wasn't completely evil but collectively the American people chose to swing completely in the other my opinion making Obama's policies equally dangerous as Bush's...just in another way.

I am interested to know what Obama has done to exceed your expectations?

Anyway, keep sharpens me.

TnknOutLoud said...

Like I have said before, Obama isn't the savior of all mankind, he's not a rock star, he is simply a politician. I think he is a very effective one, but none the less still a politician. The things that exceed my expectations is his pragmatism and knowledge that though he may have goals and dreams, he has to work with other individuals who may have goals and dreams that appear in direct opposition to his own. His willingness to reach across the isle to members of the other party, I believe to be huge. Maybe it wouldn't be such a big thing except that he follows such an ideologue that would think such practices would be compromising upon principles if not outright treason (yea, its a bit of an exaggeration, but not much).

Another thing that makes Obama so skilled @ politics along with his willingness to compromise is he ability to forecast the difficult road ahead while putting the responsibility of any change on the shoulders of the American public. This keeps him from being boxed in and blamed for his inability to deliver (for the record, I don't think that he can deliver on all his campaign promises). At this time I think he is the best man for the job on so many levels.

In the end, he is but a man that will make mistakes and will let us down as all that have gone before him and all that will go after him. So you don't think I believe he is infallible, I am not sure I agree with him over the stimulus package. $500 in individual hands is nice, but I can't see it having any effect on the economy. Its like the economy is a log jam and we need to bust up the dam that is preventing logs from flowing down the river. You can take the 10 tons of powder (>8 Billion dollars)to blow the jam to bits or you can divide it up among the millions of citizens and they have enough powder to make a fire cracker each.

But I must confess I don't know what the solution is given the immense and unpredictible nature of the economy.