Thursday, September 8, 2016

He’d never get elected today! 14

Finally, this man was not doctrinaire – all the more remarkable because he lived at a time – rather like our own? - when being doctrinaire was automatically taken to mean being a man of conviction. Others had the answers, all the answers, and had them easily. And this was an age profligate with examples of just this seductive tendency. Thus, at the very outset of Lincoln’s term, Northern editorial writers in the winter-spring of 1860-61 who wrote [pontificated?] that if South Carolina wanted to leave the Union, good riddance to bad rubbish; they’ve been nothing but trouble from the beginning anyway. Those editorial writers also had all the answers. Similarly, those South Carolinians manning artillery aimed at Fort Sumter knew exactly what to do; we gonna kill us some Yankees! What could be cleaner? The examples go on and on. And against all that is this new man in the White House who said, more than once, “My policy is to have no policy.”

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