On this day, March 4th, in 1861, Abraham Lincoln became the 16th president of the United States. In his inauguration speech Lincoln extended an olive branch to the South, but also made it clear that he intended to enforce federal laws in the states that seceded.
The closing remarks of his inaugural address:
“In your hand, my fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it… We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
With all that's going on in the US Presidential race today: the charades, the parades, the insults, the shenanigans, the upper hands, the low blows, I want to remind myself that it wasn't always like this.
Where has civility gone, why does it seems like the primaries are a highly contested race for Prom King or Queen, versus a candidacy for the highest office in the land, the President of the United States of America.
The Republican debates have indeed been carnival and circus. The major news channels competing for ratings, versus creating an environment or forum with the appropriate format for a civil discussion or presentations of how the candidates would govern.
It's like watching HOUSE OF CARDS, but worse, because it's real.
Certainly the shift of power, the fracture in the Republican party, the possibility of the first woman president, it's all interesting, compelling and representative of the hallmark of this country, FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY.
I just wish it wasn't so much like reality TV. The fervor of the artificial drama in place of real substance is disappointing and on the world stage, embarrassing.
All the quotes below are from President Abraham Lincoln.
Nearly all men can stand adversity,
but if you want to test
a man's character, give him power.
The ballot is stronger than the bullet.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.
America will never be destroyed
from the outside. If we falter
and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed ourselves.