The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Obama's Lincoln Letter

A few minutes ago, I posted The Daily GOP Ignominious. The piece is about Right-wing demagoguery based in manipulation and ignorance (probably a good degree of both).

As part of the 150th Commemoration of the Gettysburg Address President Obama joined past presidents in reading versions of the most famous speech in US History. Obama was given the John Nicolay version, which excludes the words "Under God." Well, if you know right-wing media, you know the rest of the story.

The Daily GOP Ignominious linked, here.>
It really should surprise no one President Obama takes seriously matters of historical significance. As the first President outside the "commonly accepted norm" (regarding race) anyone who underestimates his attention to his ethnicity and role as President, is driven by motive or is simply ignorant. Actually both mental processes are at play when haters think and speak about the president.  He has flaws as do we all, but he truly understands and respects the significance of his role as the nation's Chief Executive.

While President Obama will never admit race as an undercurrent factor in his time in the Oval Office, we will not underestimate race/ethnicity as a major factor in the level, scope and extent of hatred focused o the 44th President of the United States of America.

Race, however, has never seemed to be a guiding consideration in his day-to-day accomplishment of his duties. We think the following think the following shows a focus on "the prize" as much as any public actions we can attribute to Barack Obama.


Obama's letter is 272 words long -- the same length as the Gettysburg Address.

View a transcript and photo of the letter below: 
In the evening, when Michelle and the girls have gone to bed, I sometimes walk down the hall to a room Abraham Lincoln used as his office. It contains an original copy of the Gettysburg Address, written in Lincoln's own hand. 
I linger on these few words that have helped define our American experiment: "a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."   
Through the lines of weariness etched in his face, we know Lincoln grasped, perhaps more than anyone, the burdens required to give these words meaning. He knew that even a self evident truth was not self executing; that blood drawn by the lash was an affront to our ideals; that blood drawn by the sword was in painful service to those same ideals. 
He understood as well that our humble efforts, our individual ambitions, are ultimately not what matter; rather, it is through the accumulated toil and sacrifice of ordinary men and women -- those like the soldiers who consecrated that battlefield -- that this country is built, and freedom preserved. This quintessentially self made man, fierce in his belief in honest work and the striving spirit at the heart of America, believed that it falls to each generation, collectively, to share in that toil and sacrifice. 
Through cold war and world war, through industrial revolutions and technological transformations, through movements for civil rights and women's rights and workers rights and gay rights, we have. At times, social and economic change have strained our union. But Lincoln's words give us confidence that whatever trials avail us, this nation and the freedom we cherish can, and shall, prevail.

The letter sheds light on a president that is sincere, a deep thinker, and one who considers his role significant and in some ways more potentially dangerous that Lincoln's time in the White House.

Obama's Lincoln Letter (as we call it) will become part of US history, as will the overwhelming hatred focused on a president that most assuredly has roots in race.

Both are testimonials to American Exceptionalism!

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