Obama and a Warning from Abraham Lincoln

Concerned about the "decline in patriotic feeling and civic engagement" in present day America, editors Amy A. Kass, Leon R. Kass and Diana Schaub have compiled a thought-provoking anthology entitled What so Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song.  It is a particularly timely item.

If nothing else, I have to thank the 44th President because without his total disregard for the United States Constitution, I would never have begun the exhilarating process of becoming a more informed American. 

Thus, I came across the words of a true leader -- President Abraham Lincoln.

On January 27, 1838 in an address to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, a young politician by the name of Abraham Lincoln expressed his concern that "Americans were increasingly inclined to take the law into their own hands" and were "substituting vigilante justice for the justice of the law."  Entitled "The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions" it speaks to the "reverence for the Constitution and the laws" something which this present administration and members of both political parties have forgotten.

Lincoln was concerned about the consequences of such actions.

Obama incites people to lose their temper.  He understands that embedded in the word danger is the word anger and as he continues to put us in danger, he is counting on our anger taking front and center stage.  The more Obama goads the people, the more he hopes we will make his self-fulfilling prophecy of a defeated America come true. 

Consider, for example, that this White House, under the pseudo-guise of compassion, actually advertised for escort services for unaccompanied alien children to pour into the southern border of America.  Narcotics smuggling, human trafficking and possible terrorist infiltration constitute this brewing cauldron. Diseases that American doctors have not seen in years are beginning to appear, and now states have to shoulder the financial hardships as these children are shipped to various locales.  

It certainly does not take much imagination to understand the seething anger that people experience because of this deliberate usurpation of the law by Obama.  Righteous resentment is building.

And it was exactly this that Lincoln was concerned about when he asserted that:

By such examples, by instances of the perpetrators of such acts going unpunished, the lawless in spirit, are encouraged to become lawless in practice; and having been used to no restraint, but dread of punishment, they thus become, absolutely unrestrained. Having ever regarded Government as their deadliest bane, they make a jubilee of the suspension of its operations; and pray for nothing so much, as its total annihilation. While, on the other hand, good men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws, and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defence of their country; seeing their property destroyed; their families insulted, and their lives endangered; their persons injured; and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better; become tired of, and disgusted with, a Government that offers them no protection; and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose.

Eric Holder is the first attorney general in history to be held in contempt by the House of Representatives; yet he still is in charge.  He has not changed his extreme stance since his university days. As a student at Columbia, Holder supported radical groups and he continues to exhibit blatant racism in his actions.  Holder a, "race baiter," is really a provocateur who is looking for an excuse to ratchet up punishments against those good men and women Lincoln spoke about.    

And thus,

"[w]henever this effect shall be produced among us; whenever the vicious portion of population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and burn churches, ravage and rob provision stores, throw printing presses into rivers, shoot editors, and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure, and with impunity; depend on it, this Government cannot last."

New Black Panthers, night sticks at the ready, who were never brought to justice come to mind.  Occupy Wall Street was a taste of that "vicious portion of the population" who gladly destroyed property and assaulted women.  Now it has been supplanted by the Occupy America movement of illegal infiltration.

By such things, the feelings of the best citizens will become more or less alienated from [the government]. At such a time and under such circumstances, men of sufficient talent and ambition will not be wanting to seize the opportunity, strike the blow, and overturn that fair fabric, which for the last half century, has been the fondest hope, of the lovers of freedom, throughout the world.

Lincoln understood how men's hearts work because

if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come.

As the government dictates more of our lives via the EPA, the IRS, and Obamacare, Lincoln's deepest fears will be realized. Obama has deliberately thwarted people's efforts to succeed in this country while he blithely lies about alleged success.

Yet, Lincoln's remedy against the demise of this great experiment called America was "simple."

Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

Every American owes a debt to the "patriots of 1776 to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor;—let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children’s liberty."

When the chips are down, when all else seems quite futile, we, Americans rise to the occasion.  Consequently, "reverence for the laws, [is to] be breathed by every American mother, ... [is to be] taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges;—let it be written in Primmers, spelling books, and in Almanacs;—let it be preached from the pulpit,  proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars."  And it should be meaningful!  For, ultimately, "[i]f destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." 

Furthermore, Lincoln  asserted that if  "bad laws, ... exist, [they] should be repealed as soon as possible [.]"  Thus, "if such arise, let proper legal provisions be made for them with the least possible delay; but, till then, let them if not too intolerable, be borne with."  But he vigorously avowed that  '[t]here is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law." 

Lincoln understood that the passions excited during the American Revolution could not be fully appreciated in future generations so he concluded that:

Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence. Let those materials be moulded into general intelligence, sound morality and, in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws [.]

No man or woman, certainly no elected official, has a right to trample and desecrate the ideals of this country.  We cannot; we must not let that happen.  We must declare that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  Let us revel in many more July Fourths!

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com

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