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Barack Obama on Abraham Lincoln

Barack Obama on Abraham Lincoln

President Obama reflected recently on Abraham Lincoln at the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.  His remarks, and the fact that Obama has mentioned focusing on the 16th president in looking to the past, give some indication of how Mr. Obama sees the nation and the presidency:

“It’s only by coming together to do what people need done that we will, in Lincoln’s words, . . . ‘Give an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life.’  That’s all people are looking for: a fair chance in the race of life.  That’s what’s required of us —  now, and in the years ahead.”  

“We will be remembered for what we choose to make of this moment, and when posterity looks back on our time, as we are looking back on Lincoln’s, I don’t want it said that we saw an economic crisis but did not stem it, that we saw our schools decline and our bridges crumble, but we did not rebuild them, that the world changed in the 21st century, but that America did not lead it, that we were consumed with small things, petty things, when we were called to do great things.”  

“Instead, let them say that this generation, our generation of Americans rose to the moment and gave America a new birth of freedom and opportunity in our time.”

Clear themes of coming together, fairness, action in the face of challenges, and rising to the historical moment show that the current president is thinking about his and the nation’s choices in a historic context.  

This may be rhetoric or it may be Obama’s belief that the financial crisis is a major historic event in line with the Great Depression, but he seems to be asking the people of the United States to move beyond competing political parties and social agendas to act together on common interests in education, infrastructure and leadership. 

The rush to pass stimulus legislation did not bridge any partisan divides, but President Obama will have a chance at a more deliberate pace to gather together political leaders, parities and populace, going forward.  

It may be worth remembering that Abraham Lincoln called the people of his time to make great personal sacrifice for the nation, and in honoring the fallen and leading the living he reminded Americans of the noble purpose of the American experiment:

“the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (excerpted from Gettysburg Address)

 

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12:38PM PST on Feb 27, 2009

War is a false profit. Using war to accomplish things is a self defeating matter of the ends justifiy the means and always involves severe and unpredictable collateral damage which may be fine if you aren't the collateral but if you are the pain and suffering lasts for generations. War sets the conditions sooner or later for the next wars. If we continue to glorifiy and put our trust in war we will be the cause of our species' extinction and perhaps the extinction of all life on this tiny jewel of life called Earth.
War is a necessary tool just like all tools.The trouble with people ,is they do not realize when they are at war.The profit is the problem with war and the war profiteers will persist if they are not stopped.War is an endevor that needs close supervision and oversight,which we do not have in America.Also if American blood is shed and soaks into the ground of a foriegn nation,then the American flagg should go up and stay up.

12:28PM PST on Feb 27, 2009

W ARE THE CIRCLE OF LIFE FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATION, AND WE MUST WORK TOGETHER AS PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE IF WE ARE TO GET ANYTHING SOLVED. NOTHING COMES EASY AND THERE ARE DISAPPOINTMENTS AND HARDSHIPS BUT IF WE WORK TOGETHER AS A NATION NOT DIVIDED THE VICTORY OF SUCCESS IS SWEET. OLD WOUNDS TAKE TIME TO HEAL BUT THEY DO HEAL AND I BELIEVE THAT IS WHAT OBAMA IS TRYING TO TELL US. IN MORE SIMPLE TERMS WORK TOGETHER NOT AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. LEAVE ALL THE POLITICAL CRAP OUT AND JUST WORK TOGETHER AND THINGS WILL GET ACCOMPLISHED. OUR LIFE IS WHAT WE MAKE OF , THE MORE WE ARGUE AND FIGHT AGAINST ONE ANOTHER BECAUSE OF EACH OTHER'S BELIEFS NOTHING WILL EVER BE ACCOMPLISHED AND THERE WILL ALWAYS BE NEGATIVITY AND HATE. IS THAT WHAT WE REALLY WANT IN THE FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN? JUST THINK ABOUT IT.THINGS GET SOLVED A WHOLE LOT EASIER WHEN PEOPLE JUST WORK TOGETHER, AND NOT PROFIT OFF THE OTHER. THANKYOU PRESIDENT OBAMA.

This will never happen and the American people let us know that they know it.That is why the republicans got voted out.Republicans idea of working together is for the other side to shut up and do as you are told.There is no compremise in a republican.

12:14PM PST on Feb 27, 2009

Abraham Lincoln was a true American. Obama is a socialist.
Wropng, he is a republican made heroes and we all know what republican heroes are made of.Republicans = terror in the homeland.Just like the taliban in the middle east.

10:11AM PST on Feb 27, 2009

You are right .Divided we fall.But you can not expect to win and recover if you do not know who the enemy is.
Prayer is good if you do not place it in christian superstition.

No President has all the answers, but if "We the People..." don't quit griping and start working toward an answer, including lifting up our Senate, Congress, Military and President in prayer, whether you elected them or not, we will continue to sink, "...divided we fall".

P.S. the housing foreclosures started back in the Clinton era...not Bush!!!!

But then again the Presidents before didn't withhold enough taxes to support those working forces in their elder years either.

3:26PM PST on Feb 25, 2009

No President has all the answers, but if "We the People..." don't quit griping and start working toward an answer, including lifting up our Senate, Congress, Military and President in prayer, whether you elected them or not, we will continue to sink, "...divided we fall".

P.S. the housing foreclosures started back in the Clinton era...not Bush!!!!

But then again the Presidents before didn't withhold enough taxes to support those working forces in their elder years either.

6:35PM PST on Feb 19, 2009

Lawyers like Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela & Mahatma Gandhi are compassionate. “With compassion, one becomes courageous,” says Lao-tzu. Even so, they endure the five illusions of greed, anger, stupidity, arrogance, and doubt the same as we all do. Yet, it is said, “Even a tarnished mirror will shine like a jewel if it is polished. A mind which at present is clouded by illusions originating from innate darkness of life is like a tarnished mirror, but once it is polished it will become clear, reflecting the enlightenment of immutable truth.”
Today, more lawyers, legal specialists, and open-minded leaders are polishing their lives, working to integrate insightful awareness into modern life in order to create a more just, compassionate and reflective society. After all, peace making was their original calling.
And if we go by the words of Gandhi, "When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won."
Maurice

7:10AM PST on Feb 19, 2009

With the economy in the dumper and the hope of partisanship to be a thing of past it is not happening. Hope is a great thing but hope without action is just a wish. We the people need to demand of the democrats and the republicans accountability. We need transparency when they pass a bill so we can see where our money goes. AND most of all WE also need to stop the rhetoric. Our very survival depends on our being able to come to action to support each other, to build the bridges, to check up on our neighbors so that they don't freeze to death because their electricity is shut off. We can not expect 100 senators and 400 and some odd representatives to do the work and make the decisions that effect us every day we need to make them aware we need to take responsibility to become educated on our needs in our areas and how to accomplish them so stop wishing for the old days, stop wishing for things to get better, work at makin them get better, help find a way, in the sixty's we had an expression if your not part of the solution you are part of the problem. Stop acting as if you are entitled, you aren't, everything you have is a blessing, treasure it and protect it don't expect it.

6:08AM PST on Feb 19, 2009

Carol,

I miss the Clinton/Gingrich days of a balanced budget. It used to be that a few tens of billions of dollars was debated for months. Now we have Pelosy and Obama throwing out a trillion dollars like it's nothing!

Dan

10:42PM PST on Feb 18, 2009

People keep bringing up the idea that Obama is a socialist.

Well, here is a link to the Democratic Socialists of America -
http://www.dsausa.org/dsa.html-

Check this out. Reading this i'd say that we've had a lot of Presidents who followed bits and pieces of this philosophy, including Thomas Jefferson.

Now, check out the mission of the Democratic Party - http://www.democrats.org/a/party/stand.html --
Now, that sounds more like Obama. Big surprise. He's a Democrat!

On the other hand, the Republican party is nothing like it claims to be anymore - a party of fiscally conservative who fought to balance budgets and live conservative lives. Read about it here:
http://www.gop.com/About/AboutRead.aspx?Guid=a747a888-0ae6-4441-94f4-2a3a6561f872

Interesting to note that it shows LOTS of signs of what people are now calling Socialist - freeing slaves and offering women and blacks equal opportunity. And gosh, nowhere in this does it connect the Christian Right with the Republican party - because our constitution guarantees separation of church and state.

Nixon may well have been the last true Republican. He did not live in luxury, and abhored it, which WAS a Republican trait. He was non-religious, or at least did not incorporate church into state activities and mandates.

And it wasn't a Repubican who balanced the budget, it was the much reviled Democrat Clinton with his republican senate and republican house. oh well, all that went to hell once Bush got i

12:33PM PST on Feb 18, 2009

Gloria S., are you even able to define "socialism"? You must be a Republican. Would you like to know how I define that?

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