EJ Montini Arizona Republic
Opinion: The day before the election the president fires off a tweet storm that displays malice toward many and charity toward none.
(CNT) City News Talk #arizona
Donald Trump likes to compare himself – favorably – to President Abraham Lincoln.
Last year, he told the British tabloid The Sun: “You know, a poll just came out that I am the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party. Beating Lincoln. I beat our Honest Abe.”
Lincoln aimed to heal wounds and end a civil war.
Trump seems bent on widening divisions and … starting one?
The day before the election Trump fired off a tweet storm that began:
Every corrupt force in American life that betrayed you and hurt you are supporting Joe Biden: The failed establishment that started the disastrous foreign wars; The career politicians that offshored your industries & decimated your factories; The open borders lobbyists …
It goes on and on.
The president’s intent is not to paint the opposition as fellow citizens with a different political point of view but as evil, corrupt enemies.
Lincoln wanted to fix our nation’s wounds
Compare that to what Lincoln said in his second inaugural address, a time when the union faced genuine enemies from within, and by which time hundreds of thousands of lives had been lost in civil war.
If there ever was a moment when hatred and a call to vengeance might have been understood that was it. Instead, Lincoln spoke first of what Americans – even warring Americans – have in common.
He said, “Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.”
Then, instead of retribution, he called for reconciliation, for understanding, for brotherhood.
He said, “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds.”
We could use a guy like that.