keep looking for a presidential candidate who sparks the kind
of hope and inspiration that will galvanize the people of the United
States. Without the idealism that freedom promotes, we are a lumbering
giant unsure of our direction, making every mistake we can.
What I find so far is a bunch of would-be
power-brokers appealing to our prejudices, our vanity, or our desire
to continue war or end it.
I see finger-pointing at who would raise
taxes, for the sheer joy of raising them, and who would cut taxes,
for the sheer euphoria of deficit spending and catering to the rich.
I hear abortion touted as the perennial
push button topic, so hotly contested that amicable debate isn't
possible. Nothing guarantees the loyalty of single issue supporters
more than trench warfare.
It's difficult to believe any candidate
when rhetoric is so contrived, tiresome and self-serving. Is that
the best they can offer? The threat to democracy is plain.
We've known the kind of leadership we need.
Unfortunately, political consultants have ruled that substance and
leadership are not as effective as "proven" strategies-the
kind that repeat subtle lies, manipulate religious minds with false
promises, and shamelessly attack their opponent's patriotism. Wanting
nothing more than winning, candidates allow these consultants to
shape them accordingly. We are thus denied the leadership that we
In contrast, history provides rich examples
of inspirational integrity. Abraham Lincoln expressed the hopes
of his times, by rejuvenating democratic ideals in a forward motion.
He was not alone. America has been blessed by the likes of George
Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt.
The pulse of their words echo across time, but we are now swayed
by the shallow convenience of sound bites and contradictions instead.
Reaching back for inspiration, the following
quotes are loosely paraphrased based on the writings of Abraham
thinking and clichés of the past are inadequate to the
stormy needs of the present."
cannot escape the history we are making today. No personal
significance or insignificance can spare any of us. The trial
through which we pass will add a foundation of honor or dishonor
to the next generation.
say we are for truth and freedom, justice and compassion. By saying
it, the world will judge us by our words, and condemn us if we
fail. We have the power to remedy our problems. With that in mind,
we will nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope for freedom
means may succeed, but this one that we hold cannot fail if we
share it with others. The way is plain, moral, just, inclusive.
If we follow the way of our highest principles, the world will
forever applaud, and God must forever bless."
can truly be impressed by the following description, which is not
a paraphrase but an exact quote (emphasis mine):
free government's] leading object is to elevate the condition
of mento lift artificial weights from all shouldersto
clear the paths of laudable pursuit for allto afford all
an even start, and a fair chance, in the races of life. Yielding
to partial and temporary departures, from necessity, this I hold
to be the leading object of the government for whose existence
no longer find that sincerity of vision, that desire for the possible,
that belief in the best of aspirations that Abraham Lincoln came
these other wonderful quotes, so relevant as we face the upcoming
constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? Our
reliance is in the love of liberty
Destroy this spirit,
and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors.
Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you prepare
your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample the rights
of others, you have lost the genius of our own independence and
become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises
am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they
can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great
point is to bring them the real facts."
Lincoln arrived on the scene when our nation resisted making all
people free, and was tearing itself apart because of it. Our highest
ideals, which were landmarks in human history, had ceased to flourish,
and were threatened like never before or since. Lincoln eloquently
voiced the aspirations of our founders, but to a higher level than
even they envisioned.
again our nation is turning its back on our highest ideals. We are
forgetting that this is a government of, by and for the people,
and not the other way around. This is America. The president and
Congress work for us. Nationalism should not be an abstract loyalty
to a particular leader or extreme agenda, demanding blind obedience.
American nationalism means honoring the will of the informed people
and serving the general good.