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Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
07-05-2013, 04:57 PM
Post: #1
Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
As I am reading about the politics of today, I thought to myself ... Would Abraham Lincoln have beaten Romney or McCain recently? In addition how do you think Lincoln would have handled national security, welfare, and unemployment! Feel free to write your comments! This is not a bash-American politics post, it's a conversation about the contrast or comparison between 1860s and 2000s politics!

Have fun!!
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07-06-2013, 09:45 PM
Post: #2
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
It's like comparing apples and oranges
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07-06-2013, 11:21 PM
Post: #3
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
National security? That's a tough one, Matt.

I think Lincoln's thoughts regarding welfare, as were probably the thoughts of most folks at the time, could be summed up in the words he wrote to his half-brother, John Johnston. If you're able bodied - go find some means of gainful employment. Don't sit back and expect the Government, or anyone else, to provide for you. I don't think today's entitlements would sit well with a man who made his living off the sweat of his brow for many years of his life. When he was lying in the bed at the Petersen house, Sect. of the Navy Gideon Welles remarked later in his diary that Lincoln's sparse frame defied the real state of his physical stature. I believe he stated that he looked like a Greek God due to his muscular frame. That didn't come from demanding free health care or any other type of handout. He did it himself. As most folks of the time did.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
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07-07-2013, 08:31 AM
Post: #4
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
The problem with questions like this is most people transfer their own political viewpoint to Lincoln, both liberal and conservative. It's impossible to know how Lincoln would react to modern-day issues and personally, I don't make an attempt to try. There's no right answer.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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07-07-2013, 11:11 AM (This post was last modified: 07-07-2013 11:12 AM by L Verge.)
Post: #5
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
Questions like Matt's are not designed to find conclusive answers. They are designed to make people THINK and apply historical principles to modern-day life. If that's not the purpose of studying history, then I certainly failed as a teacher.

And you CAN compare apples and oranges: The one thing they both have in common are the inner seeds which, when sowed properly, generate new and improved varieties. The same goes for an educated populace.
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07-07-2013, 05:19 PM (This post was last modified: 07-07-2013 05:33 PM by Gene C.)
Post: #6
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
Lincoln didn't say this, but I can imagine him saying it...

"With our past experience, when the govenment says it wants to "fix" things, it's like saying you want to "fix" the dog
(sorry Fido)

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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07-07-2013, 05:34 PM
Post: #7
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
(07-07-2013 08:31 AM)Rob Wick Wrote:  The problem with questions like this is most people transfer their own political viewpoint to Lincoln, both liberal and conservative. It's impossible to know how Lincoln would react to modern-day issues and personally, I don't make an attempt to try. There's no right answer.

Best
Rob

I agree with Rob. One can cherry pick things from Lincoln's writings and speeches to support almost any preferred political belief. Then, of course, there are all the assertions people like to attribute to Lincoln that he never said - again, to support a preferred political belief. The only thing we can be fairly certain of, regardless of when he lived, is that he would have kept an open mind.

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http://www.petersonbird.com

http://www.elizabethjrosenthal.com
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07-07-2013, 06:28 PM
Post: #8
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
And changed that mind many times to support his changing political stance?
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07-08-2013, 05:19 PM
Post: #9
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
As I tell my students, "History is not about putting names, places, and events on a timeline ... Rather, history is about interpreting ideas and events and correlating them into today's understandings and society". I personally think we don't know exactly what Lincoln and or wen his cabinet would have done, but it's something us historians are known for. Finding a slice in history is what we all so and love. Analyzing and proposing is what history is!
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07-09-2013, 07:03 PM
Post: #10
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
Seems like every politician tries to get 'right' with Lincoln
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07-09-2013, 08:54 PM (This post was last modified: 07-09-2013 09:04 PM by ELCore.)
Post: #11
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
(07-06-2013 11:21 PM)J. Beckert Wrote:  I think Lincoln's thoughts regarding welfare, as were probably the thoughts of most folks at the time, could be summed up in the words he wrote to his half-brother, John Johnston. If you're able bodied - go find some means of gainful employment. Don't sit back and expect the Government, or anyone else, to provide for you.

[Image: 485996_425598754200965_270078819_n.jpg]

Lincoln couldn't get nominated by any party nowadays, if only because of his looks.

I wrote this article for Lincoln's birthday this year: Would Abraham Lincoln Be a Democrat Today?

By the way, I myself belong to no political party.

I have endured a great deal of ridicule without much malice; and have received a great deal of kindness, not quite free from ridicule. I am used to it. (Letter to James H. Hackett, November 2, 1863)
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07-09-2013, 10:08 PM
Post: #12
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
I like it, Lane. I like it a lot. The one word that kept jumping out at me was work.

While there's a truthfulness in the statement that you can pick and choose from the words of Lincoln to justify your political stance, I think that piece reflected not only Lincoln's views, but the views of the populace in the 19th. century. There were no Government handouts and a culture of spreading the wealth and taxing to death those who do work to provide for those who won't. They got by with hard work and family ties. Two things that are lacking in our society today. Kudos for a great job with the article.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
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07-09-2013, 10:29 PM
Post: #13
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
Lane & Joe, you've got my vote.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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07-09-2013, 11:47 PM
Post: #14
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
Somewhere along the line, the idea evolved that it's not "cool" to work.
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07-10-2013, 03:53 AM
Post: #15
RE: Food for thought! Abraham Lincoln Today
(07-09-2013 10:08 PM)J. Beckert Wrote:  I like it, Lane. I like it a lot. The one word that kept jumping out at me was work.

"Work, work, work, is the main thing."

-----The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Letter To John M. Brockman" (September 25, 1860), p. 121.
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