In case anyone was paying attention to Hillary Clinton this past week, she delivered what has been touted as a “major speech” in Springfield, Illinois, she invoked Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech in an attempt to appear clever and more aligned with President Lincoln than the current “Party of Lincoln.” She may have had some genuine points about the current GOP as many current Republican leaders have expressed that they would rather vote for Clinton than the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. No doubt Mr. Lincoln would be turning over in his grave at such a spectacle.
Of course, the more repulsive spectacle is the actual thought of the current GOP leaders more aligned with Hillary Clinton than the illusion Ms. Clinton being aligned with Abraham Lincoln. The current “House Divided” today is the GOP, and it is astounding that respected Conservative leaders ask why Donald Trump is not unifying the GOP when the “Never Trump” purists have done so much to manifest division in the party from within. It is a bit like the nation represented in a car heading for a cliff created by the Progressive agenda, and people are arguing over whether the car is Chevy or a Ford. Once the car goes over the cliff, who the hell cares – it is then a matter of history and NOT principles.
Amazingly, in examining the irony of Ms. Clinton’s speech, a clear-minded citizen should wonder why a Democrat is “lamenting” the GOP being divided because that should only help Democrats – or is there something that is lost in translation?
In reality, in typical Saul Alinsky fashion, Clinton seemed to be attempting to offload her party’s problems onto the Republicans. The Democrats only appear to be united, yet the divisive primary has taken a toll on the party unity. At most, her carefully staged “major speech,” was an attempt to link herself to such a great president, much like Senator Obama had attempted in 2007 as he announced his candidacy at the very same location. The irony is supreme. Clinton’s attempt was a distortion of what Lincoln represented, and her campaign represents an inversion or subversion of the ideals and intentions of Abraham Lincoln.
Hillary Clinton used the historical stage to delve into Lincoln’s words about the United States being a “House Divided,” but it is doubtful if she understood much of the depth of Mr. Lincoln’s speech. Since Ms. Clinton is not stupid, it is likely that her words were primarily intended to manipulate others who do not understand the true Abraham Lincoln. The Democrat Party of Lincoln’s Day also portrayed itself as the party of the common man, and Democrat politicians made serious efforts to paint the Whigs as the party of the wealthy class. Lincoln detested this mirage.
Abraham Lincoln viewed the Democratic Party in his day as led by a southern plantation elite that had developed a convenient aristocracy within the Land of the Free. A Whig ally and associate of Lincoln, Joseph Gillespie, expressed that while Lincoln detested aristocracy in all its forms, nothing incensed him more than the claim that the Whigs were the party of the rich.
Lincoln realized that the United States had been founded as a nation dedicated to freedom; but the existence and toleration of slavery meant that the ideals of the Founders had yet to be completed at the founding, as blueprints are only plans for a completed house. Essentially, Lincoln expressed a profound understanding of the dangers facing America preceding the Civil War in his “House Divided” speech:
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new- North as well as South.
In conjuring up an address Abraham Lincoln delivered on June 16, 1858, after he had received the Republican Party nomination to run for the U.S. Senate seat, Ms. Clinton successfully created an opportunity for truth to set citizens free. The Party of Lincoln was formed in 1854 by a coalition of abolitionist activists, former Free Soil supporters, and ex-northern Whig Party adherents. The Republican Party came together at a time of great divisiveness, deadly violence, and deep political turmoil.
Lincoln actually made 18 clear points in the speech, but he had the audacity to tell the truth about how the nation had been divided from the beginning over the issue of slavery. Lincoln was not afraid to speak the truth, while typical politicians would be vague, or deliberately lie to the people, as they still do (especially Ms. Clinton). Unfortunately, even before Lincoln delivered his speech, many of his friends whose opinions he sought, condemned his words. None whom Mr. Lincoln consulted approved of it. One told him it was “Damned fool utterance.” Yet, Lincoln delivered it.
Afterward, Lincoln defended his intent in his speech: “My friends, this thing has been retarded long enough. The time has come when these statements should be uttered, and if it is decreed that I should go down because of this speech, then let me go down linked to the truth; let me die in advocacy of what is just and right.”
After Lincoln delivered the “House Divided” speech, the Republican establishment of his day, or some of the more “adept” of the leaders, criticized Lincoln for what he had said – it is possible that he had been too honest – or in the jargon of the day – not “politically correct” enough. They were afraid that Stephen F. Douglas would use his words against him. Many were dismayed that he had been so honest and brash – some said “impolite.” Much stronger conservative members of the Party did not appreciate it, and many thought it would sink Lincoln into political oblivion.
True to form, Stephen A. Douglass, in the now famous debates, took advantage of Lincoln’s honesty by saying that the Founders accepted division over slavery, and had not any concerns over it (a half-truth that Lincoln destroyed); so, who was young Abe Lincoln to want to change what the Founders had created and had accepted? Lincoln lost that election, and the Republican leadership attributed it to his brash words in the Springfield acceptance speech.
Eventually, when Abraham Lincoln responded to his critics, he said: “If I had to draw a pen across, and erase my whole life from existence, and I had one poor gift or choice left, as to what I should save from the wreck, I should choose that speech, and leave it to the world un-erased.”
Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech is one of the most famous of his speeches, and a very meaningful and well-remembered speech; yet, Ms. Clinton’s speech rings hollow and makes little sense in light of history.
While many think that Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech was a prediction of the coming Civil War, Lincoln was speaking as honestly as he could about history — not intending to offer prophecy. Lincoln truly grasped that true tyranny had never been fully broken when America was conceived and created. He was stating a fact that the Union was not so united from the beginning, and had been forced from one generation to the next to deal with the issue of slavery through one compromise after another.
Last week Hillary Clinton claimed that: “The challenges we face today do not approach those of Lincoln’s time. Not even close… But recent events have left people across America asking hard questions about whether we are still a house divided.” Yet, it is certainly true that today, as in Lincoln’s day, America is a house divided. And the challenges Americans face today are as great as those in the time of Abraham Lincoln. After 240 years, a question that needs to be asked is whether genuine leadership exists within the contemporary American political spectrum to help in retaining the founding ideals that have kept this nation strong and vibrant.
The supreme irony is that the playbook of Democrat-Progressives consists of dividing Americans, making them “enemies” of each other. Progressives pit Blacks against Whites, the young against the old, men against women, rich against the poor, labor against management/ownership, and non-believers against believers. They vigorously stir the proverbial “pot” with real and perceived grievances for the sake of attaining and retaining political or personal power over the people.
Over 150 years ago, as the United States fought with itself over its own identity as a nation, and the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the principles in the Constitution of the United States were at the heart of the struggle. This was at the core of the crisis within the nation that led to the Civil War, which essentially ripped the nation apart by its own people. More and more the Democrats of our time show themselves to be willing to allow the country to be ripped apart again.
Hillary Clinton is simply the current representative of the Democratic Party – the latest smiley face who has been “anointed” to run for president, but her words ring hollow, as empty words usually do. She has shown more and more that she is a person primarily pursuing personal and political gain for Party and not for “We the people.”