President Obama recently gave his final State of the Union address. The legacy of his presidency will be the subject of debate for quite some time, but current conjecture, by many, would assert he’s the worst president America’s ever had.
Opinions of Barack Obama no doubt run the gamut. However, I’m of the opinion words matter and they’re a reflection of what resides within a person’s soul.
For the sake of analysis, we’ll dive into the thoughts of probably one of the greatest presidents America has ever had and those of our current one.
Today, the United States Constitution is constantly being subverted – yet, Abraham Lincoln cautioned: “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these great and true principles.” (August 27, 1856)
Abe boasted that “I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.” (February 22, 1861)
Lincoln asserted: “Let us turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.” (July 10, 1858) “The people are the rightful masters of both congresses and courts – not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.” (September 17, 1859)
Not to the extent it was in the 1860s, but America is still deeply divided along racial lines. Many say the President is complicit in that – “Divider in Chief” was a recent best-selling book.
Mr. Obama claimed: “I don’t want to pit Red America against Blue America. I want to be President of the United States of America.” (Nov. 10, 2007)
In a 2008 speech, presidential candidate Barack Obama said: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
When Barack Obama ran for office he said his administration would be the most trustworthy and transparent in history, but the exact opposite has rung true.
Abraham Lincoln claimed: “I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him.” (August 11, 1846)
In 2004, Mr. Obama said: “We can participate in the political process without fear of retribution and that our votes will be counted – or at least, most of the time.”
That statement has a disclaimer at the end and the IRS would indeed dish out retribution after that was targeted toward conservative groups.
In 2006, The President said: “If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.” (August 28) “Americans still believe in an America where anything’s possible – they just don’t think their leaders do.” (September 1) “I always believe that ultimately, if people are paying attention, then we get good government and good leadership. When we get lazy, as a democracy and civically start taking shortcuts, then it results in bad government and politics.” (September 25)
Abraham Lincoln was assertive in saying: “I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at, religion.” (July 31, 1846)
Interesting though, Barack Obama claimed: “This notion that’s peddled by the religious right that they are oppressed is not true. Sometimes it’s a cynical ploy to move their agenda ahead. The classic example being that somehow secularists are trying to eliminate Christmas, which strikes me as some kind of manufactured controversy.” (Jul. 11, 2006)
Mr. Lincoln’s insights were keen when he said: “I have understood well that the duty of self-preservation rests solely with the American people.” (January 19, 1863) “When the people rise in masses in behalf of the Union and the liberties of their country, truly may it be said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against them.” (February 11, 1861)
Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, has been published bi-monthly since 2009. He’s an author, nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit in Jamestown, Indiana, a non-profit organization aiding the poor. He can be reached at www.builderofthespirit.org or follow him on Twitter @GregAllencolumn. This column was previously published in the Claiborne Progress, a Civitas Media publication.