American politics and Abraham Lincoln
By Jun Velasco
“Man perfected by society is the best of all animals, he is the most terrible of all when he lives without law, and without justice,” Aristotle
EASILY, the world’s focal interest nowadays is the forthcoming US presidential elections this coming November.
According to Gonz Duque who just planed in from a US visit, it’s a toe-to-toe between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
It’s still anybody’s guess, he hinted, although he seemed impressed with the Republicans’ improving campaign – and Obama’s “dismal shrewdness and lies.”
Normally, we root for the democrats who spurn war. The Republicans are usually on the war front, just like Ronald Reagan and the Bush father-and-son.
Gons says that Romney’s naming Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential bet was a big plus; he was tailing Obama in the early polls.
Ryan last Thursday said: “ After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turn-around, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.”
Among Obama’s powerful campaigners are former President Bill Clinton and his charismatic wife, US Executive Secretary Hillary Clinton.
Our rating for the race at this point is even.
Speaking of US politics, we have in our home library a framed front page of New York Herald of the April 15, 1865 issue, the day President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. We bought that collector’s copy at a museum in New York in l992.
The front page was a special if historic coverage of Lincoln’s assassination.
We consider Lincoln the greatest among the US presidents.
Some rank George Washington as America’s greatest president.
Others say its Thomas Jefferson, the author of American Independence.
Still others consider John Kennedy the greatest.
But, if we consider the massive division of the American people as the worst in US history — when brother kills his brother, North versus South, the Confederates versus the Union where thousands died, which Lincoln faced and courageously brought to a triumphant solution (the emancipation of the slaves), he should be the greatest hands down.
The slaves’ emancipation was in accord with universal and God’s law.
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In the Herald, one wonders at how its headline story on April 15, 1865 was the Lincoln assassination, which happened at 1:30 a.m. on that day. It should mean then that even in those days, the US press could already produce more than one edition in a day.
The news dispatch was datelined Washington, April 15, 1865 – 1:30 a.m.
The news’ lead runs thus, “ This evening at about 9:30 p.m. at Ford’s Theatre, the President, while sitting in his private box with Mrs. Lincoln, Mrs. Harris and Major Rathburn, was shot by an assassin, who suddenly entered the box in the rear of the theatre.”
We hope Obama and Romney can approximate the qualities of Abe Lincoln. To us in the Philippines, the US presidency is like the world presidency. What happens in the polls is also our major concern.