In honor of Abraham Lincoln’s 210th birthday, here is a fragment he produced on the proper role of government:
The passage of time often allows us to look at the past with a clearer perspective. Sometimes, however, time obscures the truth, as in the case of Ulysses S. Grant. While recent biographers like Ron Chernow, Ronald C. White, and Jean Edward Smith have begun to restore his reputation, far too many people still think of Grant as a drunken military butcher and an incompetent president.
His contemporaries knew better. Indeed, when he died most Americans believed Grant belonged right next to Washington and the martyred Lincoln in the pantheon of our nation’s greatest heroes.
Last week I wrote about Trump’s shameful decision to skip an event honoring American soldiers who died in the First World War.
His excuse was that a trip by helicopter was inadvisable due to rain in the forecast. In truth, he could have easily made the trip by car. Other leaders who were in France for the occasion did just that. But Trump couldn’t be bothered. In and of itself, his conduct was despicable. But when put alongside Abraham Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, Trump’s behavior becomes even more horrifying.
Allow me to describe for you an intriguing political scenario.
A progressive candidate with minimal name recognition outside his own state takes on a controversial but formidable conservative incumbent with a major national profile for a seat in the United States Senate.
On April 19, 1861, four days after the surrender of Fort Sumter and 86 years to the day after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the City of Baltimore witnessed an outbreak of violence that resulted in the first combat deaths of the American Civil War.