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Remembering Lincoln Via "Team of Rivals" on This Election Day...

Election Day 2016.  I offer up those quotes from Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin's unbelievably good book on Abraham Lincoln.  I suspect they have more to do with how we'll need to come together as citizens than the potential of either candidate to lead in the way that Lincoln did:

“This, then, is a story of Lincoln’s political genius revealed through his extraordinary array of personal qualities that enabled him to form friendships with men who had previously Team of rivalsopposed him; to repair injured feelings that, left untended, might have escalated into permanent hostility; to assume responsibility for the failures of subordinates; to share credit with ease; and to learn from mistakes. He possessed an acute understanding of the sources of power inherent in the presidency, an unparalleled ability to keep his governing coalition intact, a tough-minded appreciation of the need to protect his presidential prerogatives, and a masterful sense of timing. His success in dealing with the strong egos of the men in his cabinet suggests that in the hands of a truly great politician the qualities we generally associate with decency and morality—kindness, sensitivity, compassion, honesty, and empathy—can also be impressive political resources.”

“When resentment and contention threatened to destroy his administration, he refused to be provoked by petty grievances, to submit to jealousy, or to brood over perceived slights. Through the appalling pressures he faced day after day, he retained an unflagging faith in his country’s cause.”

“No man is good enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent.”

Our country has a long history of emerging from dark moments.  From the ashes of many dumpster fires in America have emerged our greatest leaders. I expect greatness to emerge from these times.

I'm jaded, cynical and quick to cut someone off at the knees in this space, but if America is a stock - I'm buying more and doubling down.

Comments

Inta Berzins

May I suggest another book by a Pulitzer Prize winning author? "Who Stole the American Dream?" by Hedrick Smith. Perhaps a more sobering view of what faces this country as we move forward. I'm all for "Go America" and I have liked DKG's historical perspective in other books, but the vast majority of Americans don't understand how we ended up so dismantled and divided in the first place.

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