Watchman on the Wall: The hated president

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“Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity and a firm reliance on Him (G-d), who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.” Abraham Lincoln 1861

“He is no more capable of becoming a statesman, . . . than a braying ass can become a noble lion.”

“(He) continues to make a fool of himself and to shame the intelligent people of this great nation.”

“His weak wishy-washy efforts, imbecile in matter, disgusting in manner, have made us the laughing stock of the whole world.”

“As to the politics of Washington, the most striking thing is the absence of personal loyalty to the President. It does not exist. He has no admirers, no enthusiastic supporters. If a Republican convention were to be held tomorrow, he would not get the vote.”

He was called a Dictator, a Tyrant, uncouth, an embarrassment. So hated, so reviled that when he took office, he had to sneak into Washington by night, disguised and secreted into the White House. His crime? The Emancipation Proclamation. The Man? Abraham Lincoln who wanted to free 3.5 million slaves. Thirty-five years earlier he had worked as a boatman ferrying people and goods, including a trip to New Orleans where he saw the notorious slave markets. It changed his life, “This is a disgrace. If I ever get a lick at this thing, I’ll hit it hard.” He became a lawyer then a Congressman. Then he became the “hated” President. He left his life of comfort, his family, a successful business. He ended slavery, and the United States went to war – Civil War.

The Republican Party, know as the GOP for “Grand Old Party,” wanted to restrict the Western expansion of slavery and fought to protect the rights of African Americans. This war of ideas had been waged since the founding of the country. To ensure the formation of the United States in 1776, the northern states agreed to allow slavery to continue, knowing it was just a matter of time before they would rid the nation of this horrible scourge.

The Democrats of the South however wanted to expand slavery upon which their economy depended, but Abraham Lincoln addressed the issue head on. The result was the long awaited for freedom of the African slaves with the 13th Amendment of 1865 to end slavery.

60% of the casualties or 646,392 Union soldiers were lost to bring freedom to our Black brothers. After his death, Abraham Lincoln became a hero, beloved and quoted and a national holiday set aside in his honor. With pride and gratitude I salute this “Hated President.” Thank you Mr. Lincoln!

■ Loraine Joy is a small business owner and Arbuckle resident. Contact Loraine at musicandmore@mac.com