Thursday, December 7, 2017

“In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.” - Anonymous

From “Lincoln 365,” by Arnold Kunst:
December 7
One of the lessons that Lincoln lived by, particularly as the urge to war came to dominate North and South, was the importance of avoiding a rank appeal to naked emotion, a very powerful, seductive temptation indeed. And yet only a few years after Lincoln’s 1865 assassination no less a figure than Lincoln’s former Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was doing that very thing. During the campaign of 1868 Stanton stumped for the Republican presidential candidate Ulysses Grant. Stanton, according to the historian David Donald, ‘swept his Pennsylvania audiences for Grant by reading the Gettysburg Address. Then he said, tearfully, “You hear the voice of Father Abraham here tonight. Did he die in vain?...Let us here, every one, with uplifted hand, declare before Almighty God that the precious gift of this great heritage, consecrated in the blood of our soldiers, shall never perish from the earth. Now -” and he uplifted his hands – “all hands to God. I SWEAR IT!” After which his auditors all presumably went out and voted Republican.’

‘Passion has helped us, but can do so no more. It will in the future be our enemy. Reason – cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason – must furnish all the materials for our future support and defense.’
- Abraham Lincoln

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