In the day before the midterms, what can we learn from Abraham Lincoln about the nation we want and the great task that lies ahead?
And in either victory or defeat tomorrow, as in July of 1863, the work ahead will include a continuation of the fight to preserve the progress already made real as we seek to inch ever closer to the ideal.
We mustn’t lose heart if tomorrow’s gains are small or altogether unrealized. And we mustn’t grow complacent if we manage to win the day. Regardless of the midterm battle’s outcome, the war for the soul of this nation is far from over.
JFK, another President of great significance once said: “Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” While this can be true of both sides of our current great divide, untethered reality does seem to be prevalent on only one side.
I think this is your best post yet, best of all of the amazing thoughtful, insightful posts you have shared with us. I do not have adequate words to tell you how grateful I am for your wisdom throughout these troubled times. I did share this post to FB, because it is that important. So grateful for you as our leader and for this group forum.
You don't know what you've got till it's gone. . . . For many years people didn't vote or know who their leaders were. Pop icons yes. Political leaders no. Now they will learn the price of civic illiteracy. And not even having apps with real news. Hello George Orwell. Goodbye Columbus. Demos we hardly knew ye.
“…the great task of completing the unfinished work of democracy will remain (forever) before us.” Thank you. I needed this.
"...we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal..."
Clearly," all men" means all white males. That isn't what it says, but that is what is practiced.
One party thinks that if equality is extended to some non-whire non-male person that will directly affect their personal rights, as though they had measured equality and found it to be a fixed quantity. If they cannot be winners at the polls, then they will turn to violence, real or threatened, to get their way.
The other party does not think that every color, sex, race, religion, ethnicity, and any and all 'others' must have separate legislation to give them equality. We, and Lincoln, think that we must work to over come that opposing philosophy. The polling of the people is the correct way to address differences.
Every generation has faced the problems of maintaining the democraticaly governed Republic. If we fail tomorrow, that doesn't necessarily mean all hope is gone. There will be future generations who remember what democracy felt like who will be willing to fight to restore it to good health.
I have learned one thing. Teaching history and civics needs to be returned as mandatory in lower education levels. By the end of high school, every student should be familiar with the constitution and able to recite the Gettysberg Address. Precious things come in small packages. Knowledge has the power to make people free. Without exceptions.
620,000 dead. Treasuries and resources exhausted. Because of mans inhumanity to man.
Out-STANDING commentary Mr. Beschloss.
Thank you for this. Although I’ve heard similar discussions about moving forward no matter what the results of the election, this is the first time I’ve been made to understand that just because things seem to be going in the direction one hopes for, it is necessary to remain on guard and always continue to do the hard work.
We have gone from a man with barely a year's formal education with a brilliant mind and a determination of devotion to his country, a self read man who wrote his own memorable speeches and ended giving his own life due to his continual fight and refusal of negotiation urged by General McClellan, to a supposed Wharton graduate, a demagogue who cannot even get out a complete sentence, (Biden not good at off the cuff speeches either )calls those against him childish names and in his own mind, the mostest, bestest, greatest, smartest person to ever live. A frugal, compassionate often beset by bouts of depression human being, but an astute politician, to an inflated ego inciter who doesn't really want the job of President, only the title and power that goes with it, able to push away others at a NATO meeting so he can be out front and center.
Lincoln's Gettysburg speech did not mention or denigrate the Confederates, spoke only of unity and upholding that for which so many had given their lives. 407 million American soldiers gave their all during WW II to defend liberty. In this century, to have fascism again take over the world and a man like trump wanting to occupy the place where once, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson lived,would be a travesty.
President Biden has tried to speak positively of accomplishments-infrastructure, maintaining social security and medicare, helping students, lowering medical costs, solving causes of climate change, creating jobs, policies to lower out of control prices caused by war in Ukraine and greedy conglomerates. He welcomes friendly exchange with the original conservative Republicans, but where are they? 213 house representatives and 50 senators uphold the MAGA lies, vote against everything Democrats put forward, are weaklings, scaredy-cats, fearing a base whose members probably had relatives who hid in the woods and made moonshine, and a man whose wife carries $25,000 purses. So it is hard, impossible, not to speak of these destructive wimps and the untold misery they will inflict upon an unthinking public.
I will forever urge better public school education. I think it has been proven that money does not make it better. Yes, it provides better facilities, but it is the teacher and the subject matter that can excite the student to learn the promises made so long ago for a free, democratic country . that enough blood has been spilled, enough vitriol spoken. The lessons my grandmother taught created, I think, better citizens than TikTok. The Chinese version produces kids who want to be engineers, teachers. The American version promotes entertainment and the latest girlfriend of Pete Davidson.
Tuesday night, the moon will be totally eclipsed, the first time ever in history of it happening on an election evening. May it not portend a calamity.
May truth prevail over falsehood, love over hatred, knowledge over ignorance.
Thank you, Steven, for your clear & simple thoughts at this critical moment in time.
Thanks, Steven. Definitely a definitive time for our nation, but as I have noted before in my comments to your articles, I am an optimist and I believe we (the majority of Americans) will prevail, and if we don't tomorrow, the true colors of who we are will prevail because those who could possibly prevail have no plan other than to destruct and to hate, and that will not work in the long term.
Thank you! It warms my heart and gives me much hope. Tomorrow we will deal with what is and not an unknown. Yet we live to fight other days, to educate and encourage, to look to peace, and maybe even justice, but certainly keeping truth and integrity.
I hae felt for a long time that our founders who were so visionary lacked the vision to take the furthest step of declaring equality; equality for all truly - women and people of color. If they had been able to take that step, think of what we wouldn’t have had to live through as a country: no civil war, no slavery, everyone with one vote…oh my what it could have been