These words about the use of power by Lincoln had me think of the legacy of power that America had enjoyed during the presidencies of the first President Bush, and also with Bill Clinton.
In a touch of brilliance to push all signatories to sign the Akron Accord for some short peace in the area, Clinton held the meeting at the location of largest fleet of air bombers in the world at Akron. Clinton of course had all enjoy a military review of the entire length of this vast airfield filled to overflow with bombers brought in from all over for the big day.
By the end of the review, and then the return to the room with the papers and pens, after all those enemies had absorbed the force of America, they all sat down among the massive sea of bombers at Akron, and all signed, all signatures. Then I suspect all asked if they could use the washrooms. They all knew that Bill Clinton had it in his power to snap his fingers and lift those thousand bombers warming up as they walked, and be off bombing some factories and homes by nightfall.
This was a clever and very powerful hint of force, to achieve the results Clinton and the world sought, with not one bomb dropped, many heads banged together with the sounds of aircraft engines warming up. Some wise application of power is so long overdue. Here is to hope, wisdom spouting out of the sidewalks in Washington, less provocation and arrogance, more cooperation and humility. That is what Lincoln would have done, as historians describe Lincoln as an emotional genius.
Lincoln insisted that General Robert E. Lee be left to live out his life in dignity and peace on his farm in Virginia, to show all there was now to be healing and forgiveness.
Lincoln did not send Lee to Guatanamo, or hang him by his thumbs, nor mortify his faith or have him blindfolded with wires to car batteries. That legacy belongs to the emotional morons who now jump and leap from chandelier to rafters inside a place some would call Casa Blanca. Spanish for White House, Rick says.
In contrast,the first Gulf War was a masterpiece of diplomacy applied in cooperation with enemies and allies to talk Iraq out of Kuwait. When that failed, and only when President George Herbert Walker Bush, who had worked hard to achieve full amazing cooperation of all key players, not only in the region but all world powers and the United Nations on side. Only then did we all attack and chase home Iraq.
That we stopped at the Iraq border caused many of us to cry that we were only so many miles from taking out that dictator. But a very experienced senior career diplomat who had once called called the Reagan tax cuts “voodoo economics”, had the wise power of a Lincoln to stop at that border. All Arab states on our side in that war had warned this was about respect of borders. And a wiser Bush, unlike little Caesar, did not cross this Rubicon.
Bill Clinton had to complete what the senior Bush had started, which was to undue the voodoo economics that Reagan, and now Bush Jr. have had in placed, hollowing out the treasury and tossing the keys to China and Japan and Arabia. All to ensure his oil subsidies to the barons continue, as America sinks in debt, and the poor get poorer.
Which brings us to the incumbent vice president, who appeared a man of strong resolve in the first Gulf War. But after that cliff hanging flawed win over Al Gore, I was shocked to watch a news reporter asking if since this was such a narrow election and America was so clearly divided, would the winners by finger nails work with those policies of Clinton.
And this sneering man pushed the reporter aside and said why should we, we won. And we quickly saw the Clinton policies which were keeping America prosperous and yet there was finally bi partisan agreement to pay off the debt of America within the decade. And Clinton even was criticized for bombing that Sudan factory, which had been done on false evidence that bin Ladin was in the building. He had apparently, just left the building. As near a hit as ever since.
And while we civilized discussion in Europe about how they may dare become greater, tear down more walls, listen to those are not yet fully friends, and see if we come together. The healing policies of a Lincoln have crossed the pond at last.
It is long past time for the application of some of that wisdom back home. America owes it to her ideals to behave more like a member of civilization again, tear down those Guantanamo mentalities. Time to rebuild. That would be a wonderful change of the application of power. What would Lincoln have done? He would not have done much, if you think of it honestly, of what this wrecking crew have done. Only my opinion, of course.