Posts Tagged Abraham Lincoln
The Pew Research Center has conducted a unique study of American Presidents, and the results are fascinating.
Presidents have been analyzed in a multitude of ways, but now there is a new one—how narcissistic they are, how much they love themselves and want attention drawn to them by the American people.
At the top of the list are Lyndon B. Johnson, followed by Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton as the top seven.
All seven are regarded as among the best Presidents we have had, and all are highly controversial because of their assertive manner of governing.
But also, a high level of personal insecurity is evident in all seven, including health issues and personal experiences that made them have the personalities they exhibited in the Presidency.
Only a total of 15 Presidents are seen as having more narcissism than the average person has, including modern Presidents such as Woodrow Wilson, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, as numbers 10, 11 and 15.
Presidents such as Harry Truman, George Washington, Jimmy Carter, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H. W. Bush, Thomas Jefferson, Gerald Ford, and Abraham Lincoln all rate below average on narcissism from numbers varying from 18 to 32 on the list.
The question is how valuable is such a list, but at least it is food for thought!
150th Anniversary Of Greatest Speech In American History: The Gettysburg Address Of Abraham Lincoln!
150 years ago on November 19, President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech to commemorate the loss of life at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, which occurred on July 1, 2, and 3, 1863.
Although only a two minute speech, it is regarded as possibly the greatest speech ever made by an American President, although not regarded as such at the time.
Lincoln was one of the greatest orators of our history, memorable for his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865 and for other speeches and declarations, both in the White House years and in his earlier career as a Congressman from Illinois, and a Senate candidacy against Senator Stephen Douglas.
The Battle of Gettysburg, and the tremendous loss of life, remains a center of fascination to historians and tourists alike, and the short statement of Lincoln honoring the dead remains a classic of Presidential oratory that will reverberate through all of time!
The new book, DOUBLE DOWN: GAME CHANGE 2012, states that Barack Obama’s campaign seriously considered dumping Vice President Joe Biden for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a rumor long believed and promoted.
Would such a change have brought about a different election result? Hardly so, and Obama came to realize that his Vice President was an asset, and that it was best to leave well enough alone.
When one looks at history, it is clear that “dumping” a Vice President is not a good idea, although there have been cases of such situations sometimes being necessary.
This is true of Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, with Burr having tried to take the Presidency away from Jefferson in the Presidential Election of 1800.
It is also true of Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun, who were at tremendous odds over the protective tariff in 1832, with Calhoun finally resigning the Vice Presidency with three months left in the term, before being replaced by Martin Van Buren for Jackson’s second term.
Abraham Lincoln’s decision to dump Hannibal Hamlin for Andrew Johnson in 1864 is seen as a mistake, as Johnson ended up being impeached, although not convicted, by Congress when he became President.
Ulysses S. Grant’s first term Vice President, Schuyler Colfax, being involved in scandal, was replaced by Henry Wilson for the second term, a necessary action, due to the Credit Mobilier Scandal revelations.
Franklin D. Roosevelt had three Vice Presidents in his four terms, with John Nance Garner refusing to run with FDR when he went for his third term. But Henry A. Wallace was replaced with Harry Truman for the fourth term, due to opposition from Southerners and conservatives who worried about Wallace on the issue of race relations, and his views of the Soviet Union during World War II. Looking back, it was better that Truman, rather than Wallace, became President upon FDR’s death in April 1945.
Gerald Ford is the last President to replace his Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller, with the choice of Bob Dole, but that helped to defeat him in a close race with Jimmy Carter.
Overall, it is best for a President to stick with his Vice President when running for a second term, unless there are extenuating circumstances as with Jefferson, Jackson, Grant and FDR.
Today is the 155th Anniversary of the birth of our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt.
Few Presidents have had the impact of our youngest President, who was affectionately known as “TR” or “Teddy”!
Few have been as popular as he was in his time, and in most of our history since.
Few were ever as open and outspoken about their belief in political, social and economic reform as Roosevelt was.
TR became a model for later Presidents, including his distant cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
TR was proud to call himself a “progressive”, and he inspired generations of people with his belief that America could be a better place, and not be under the thumb of powerful corporations.
Certainly, one can disagree with TR on many ideas and beliefs, particularly in his promotion of “imperialism” in Latin America, and his limitations on the issue of race, but that does not take away from his greatness, with him usually being ranked just below the “great” Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and FDR.
TR changed our country for the better, and the fact that he is attacked by the likes of Glenn Beck and other right wing extremists, only adds to his magnificent stature!
A trip to his home at Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, is well worth it!
Republicans and conservatives do not want to admit it, but since the age of Ronald Reagan, they have effectively decimated the middle class, and heaped scorn on the poor.
This is reprehensible, particularly when they profess belief in God and call themselves “good Christians” as they work to slash food stamps for single mothers, children, the disabled and the working poor; oppose any rise in the minimum wage; support exporting of jobs to third world nations by greedy corporations; undermine respect for women and their basic human rights; and promote nativism and hate for ethnic minorities, as they try to survive in a nation rapidly becoming less white and Protestant by the day!
As it is, they are still able to convince struggling whites in the South and the hinterland to vote their fears, and blame all their troubles on the poor and the minorities, and progressive initiatives to help the working poor and the middle class.
But in the long run, this is a losing strategy, as now the GOP, allowing the KNOW NOTHING Tea Party Movement to have growing influence, are totally alienating the young, women, minorities, labor, gays, and educated people who care about their fellow man and woman.
So the Republican Party is rapidly becoming a dinosaur, and Ted Cruz and his buddies in the libertarian movement and the Tea Party crowd are destroying any hope of a future for the party of Lincoln, TR, and Eisenhower. They are rapidly becoming part of the dustbin of history!
America is now living through a very tumultuous, confrontational time, and the Tea Party Movement is responsible for much of this turmoil!
Their vehemence against ObamaCare; their desire to destroy the safety net that has developed under the New Deal and Great Society; their rhetoric which promotes hate and fear; their campaign to promote hysteria that America is becoming a left wing dictatorship under President Obama; their willingness to destroy the two party system and undermine Republican Party stability in the name of eliminating RINOS (Republicans In Name Only); their lack of concern about the damage to the world economy caused by the possibility of a debt ceiling being breached; and their ignoring of the suffering many Americans are experiencing with the government shutdown ending its second week, is an alarm bell in the night, warning of tragedy ahead!
For extremists of the right, the elimination of President Obama from office is their goal, and all decent Americans must worry about his personal safety and security, as the number of death threats are so numerous, that it has set a record for any President of the United States, probably unsurpassed except by Abraham Lincoln! And we know the end result of the 10,000 or more death threats against our 16th President!
This is a time to pray, to remain calm, and to hope that our Secret Service and other government agencies are equipped to protect our 44th President, and allow him to contribute to the betterment of the nation, and have a dignified retirement life after January 20, 2017!
The Republican Party has had its key elections which transform the party on a regular basis 52 years apart, and we are on the way to that occurring yet again!
In 1860, just six short years after the founding of the party in the upper Midwest, the Republican Party won its first national victory, gaining control of both houses of Congress, and electing Abraham Lincoln, even though he won slightly less than 40 percent of the total national popular vote. The party went on to dominate American politics for the next 52 years, only losing the Presidency twice to Grover Cleveland, in 1884 and 1892.
Then in 1912, the split between former President Theodore Roosevelt and incumbent President William Howard Taft, a conflict between conservatives and progressives, led to a disastrous defeat for Taft, the worst defeated President running for reelection ever in American history before and after 1912. This put the opposition Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, and gave Democrat Woodrow Wilson two terms in the White House, although coming close to losing in 1916. He proceeded to promote programs known as the New Freedom and the New Nationalism, stealing the second slogan from TR.
The Republican Party went on to revive itself from 1920-1932, but was then made the minority party in voter registration after 1932, due to the Great Depression, and only won two terms in the White House under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and two separate two year terms in Congress over the next 32 years.
After years of establishment Republicans losing, except for Eisenhower, the conservatives took over the party in 1964, again 52 years after the 1912 split, and nominated Senator Barry Goldwater, and suffered a massive defeat, insuring the biggest landslide victory in history for Lyndon B. Johnson, and the promotion of the Great Society.
While the Goldwater mentality in broad outline became the government under Ronald Reagan in 1980, the split between conservatives and progressives revived under the two Bush Presidents, as well as criticism of the Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney Presidential runs.
And here we are again with the right wing striving to take over the party, with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, along with some others, trying to move the party to an extreme, more so than Barry Goldwater represented.
And one can be sure that 2016, 52 years after 1964, we will see another massive defeat, for the GOP, probably to Hillary Clinton, but with no certainty that the party, 160 years old in 2014, can survive as a viable political party opposition!
The Republican Party has always been the major promoter of the Military Industrial Complex, condemned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell Address in 1961, but pursued and courted by Republican Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George Bush over the last 45 years of American history.
And Dick Cheney, Vice President under the second Bush, personifies the MIC perfectly!
But now we see Cheney’s daughter, Liz Cheney, who already has thrown her lesbian sister, Mary Cheney, “under the bus” to win bigot votes in Wyoming’s Senate primary, even opposing her own dad and mom on acceptance of gay marriage and their daughter, also coming out against Barack Obama conducting a military strike against Syria for its chemical warfare action against civilians on August 21!
Imagine a Cheney taking such a stand–unbelievable!
But it looks as if most Republicans will vote in Congress against such action, overlooking chemical warfare, which is banned by international treaty of 1925, taking place in Syria.
But then Ronald Reagan overlooked chemical warfare by Saddam Hussein in his nation of Iraq, and against Iran in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. with the supplies sold for profit with the knowledge of the Reagan Administration!
So the GOP has shown evidence of not caring about war crimes now twice, by Iraq in the 1980s and Syria now!
The Republican Party, therefore, is hypocritical and morally bankrupt, while Barack Obama is principled and a believer in enforcing international law against war crimes!
So what the GOP is doing will undermine its future long term, and it makes one wish to vomit over the lack of principle and common decency in the party, once proud of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!
President Barack Obama faces a major crisis and moment next Tuesday, September 10, as he speaks to the nation regarding the Syria Chemical Warfare controversy, at a time when many of his liberal and progressive allies, who should know better, have abandoned him and joined the far Right in calling for no action on this war crime by the Assad regime in Damascus!
It seems clear that not only many Democrats, but also MSNBC, public opinion polls, and town halls are making clear that they wish no action on Syria, because of fear of another Middle East war, with memories of Iraq still fresh as a wound.
But Presidents are not required to follow public opinion, particularly when so often, it is ill informed or just plain wrong!
We do not govern by emotion or mass public opinion, thank goodness, as if we had, we would never have made it through so many crises in our history!
The President has to have guts and courage and principle, and take action, and the reaction of the people be considered, but not be decisive, as, after all, he has more knowledge, gathered intelligence, and understanding of events around the world than anyone else, other than his close advisers!
Our great Presidents did what they had to do, no matter what was popular opinion, and they were pilloried for it, but in the long run of history, they have turned out quite well, to say the least!
These courageous Presidents include Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry Truman, who are listed in the 2009 C Span poll of Presidents, judged by historians and political scientists, as Numbers 1, 3 and 5 among our 43 Presidents!
So Obama needs to take action, no matter what Congress, the news media, and ill informed and overly emotional public opinion feel, and worry about the consequences later!
He needs to make an appeal to reason and reality, but whatever happens, he will be criticized, and better to be on the side of what is ethical and moral!
Yes, he might face impeachment for taking action against public opinion, but really, that will simply be an excuse, since radical Right elements of the loony party called the Republicans, are looking for an excuse to do so, but it is all an exercise in futility, as it was for Bill Clinton in 1998-1999, when everyone knew impeachment would not succeed, and that the GOP would suffer for it, as totally unjustified.
No way will Obama ever be removed by impeachment charges and trial, so go for it, enemies and haters, and Obama will stand strong in any case!
So Barack Obama needs to show “cajones”, and prove he can be a President who will do what is right, and take whatever punishment is needed, as in history, he will be looked upon kindly if he does, and poorly if he caves in on this most important moment of his Presidency!