Lincoln Memorial

The statue of Abraham Lincoln, and quote above it, inside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Sunday, June 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

With the assertion by the current US President that he is the HARDEST WORKING in US History, I am compelled to assert that this US President’s working is NOT CLOSE to that of the 16th President of the US, ABRAHAM LINCOLN! Today is the 110th anniversary of his birth on February 12, 1806. Abraham Lincoln is acclaimed the MOST EFFECTIVE SUCCESSFUL US PRESIDENT out of the 44 US Presidents in polls in 2018, rated the present US President dead last. He even beat the perennial worst, President James Buchanan whose inept leadership is identified as leading to our US Civil War. Is the current US President, like Buchanan and Nero, fiddling while his country burns?!

If you want to study the various evaluation of US President polls across the years, Wikipedia has a solid report article, “Historical rankings of presidents of the United States.”

Following the dynamics of the POLARIZATION. I do not think it is legitimate to identify our present situation as the MOST POLARIZED in U.S. HISTORY. After you consider the dynamics from the “Compromise of 1850” through President Buchanan’s do-nothing term (1857-61) to the outbreak of war with the surrender of Fort Sumter on April 13, 1861, organization of the Confederate States of America with continuing negotiations to end the war which were unsuccessful, I believe you’ll agree that the POLARIZATION of today is NOT as intense. What is YOUR assessment? I hope you will share YOUR assessment with a comment sharing with other readers and me. I’ll be reading with interest.

Does the current President’s demand for a WALL on the southern border of the US parallel the Fort Sumter situation? How do YOU think Abraham Lincoln would respond to the issue of immigration in its various dimensions? Was Lincoln as self-centered as the present President demanding MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY?

Was the Congress POLARIZED and thereby ineffective in 1860 as is the Congress TODAY?

While I am very concerned about the PRESENT situation due to the POLARIZATION in our FEDERAL GOVERNMENT and POLARIZATION OF THE ELECTORATE, I take heart from the POLARIZATION CRISIS of our Civil War! I believe that IF we had an ABRAHAM LINCOLN-type President, we’d be able to HEAL sooner. I reflect on the conclusion of Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

I have the audacity of HOPE for the future of the republic which is the United States of America.

In reflection on Lincoln’s Birthday today and his legacy, I ask whether Lincoln’s call to commitment to our DEMOCRACY will resound and gain OUR EARNEST RESPONSE?

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion

— that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain

— that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom

— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." -- From Historynet.com

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS) and WI Academic Decathlon. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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