HistoryPoliticsDid President Lincoln forewarn America about President Trump?

admin1 year ago3011 min

Did the 16th U.S. President (Lincoln) forewarn America about the 45th U.S. President (Trump)?

Distinction will be his paramount object, and although he would as willingly, perhaps more so, acquire it by doing good as harm; yet, that opportunity being past, and nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would set boldly to the task of pulling down. — Senator Abraham Lincoln

A young Illinois Senator Abraham Lincoln (soon to become the nation’s 16th President), in his The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions speech warned his audience of an impending destructive force. A destructive force he would call the Towering Genius. “Distinction,” Lincoln said of him, “will be his paramount object, and although he would as willingly, perhaps more so, acquire [distinction] by doing good as harm; yet, that opportunity being past, and nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would set boldly to the task of pulling down.” The man (or woman) Lincoln spoke of would not be satisfied with a path well traveled by others; or maintaining the traditions, norms and rules of law already established; but his or her goal would be to dismantle and destroy if distinction—and one could also add self-preservation—would be the end result.

Watch Matthew Pinsker’s “Understanding Lincoln: Lyceum Address, January 27, 1838” for a synopsis of Lincoln’s speech on Vimeo.com

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