Abraham Lincoln vs. Donald Trump

The wise old owl lived in a oak,
The more he saw the less he spoke,
The less he spoke the more he heard,
Why aren’t we all like that old bird?

What do Abraham Lincoln and Donald Trump have in common? Almost nothing besides them being white-male republicans. Lincoln grew up in poverty, Trump grew up in wealth. Lincoln was self educated, Trump was ivy-league educated. Lincoln became a lawyer and politician, Trump became a real-estate investor. Lincoln took moderate stances on issues, Trump currently takes extreme stances on issues.Lincoln took great efforts to avoid political hostilities, Trump takes great pride in politic incorrectness. My mind has been comparing these two men because I just finished the Pulitzer Prize winning biography, Lincoln by David Herbert Donald. Throughout this read, I marveled at how Abraham Lincoln was able to walk the precarious tight rope of politics to achieve extraordinary goals. Lincoln had to appeal to Radical Republicans, Conservative Republicans, War Democrats, and Peace Democrats all while orchestrating a Civil War. He was elected in 1860 on a platform that supported the institution of slavery but not its expansion. Between 1861-1865 he slowly implemented policies that eventually abolished slavery through the ratification of the thirteenth amendment. Lincoln never made decisions lightly and would contemplate every outcome with the utmost detail. Many times, Lincoln would sit back and listen instead of jumping in and making a rash decision. Lincoln’s talents of compromise and patience are what I most admire about our 16th president. People don’t realize that Lincoln was not always popular throughout his presidency and at some points had lower approval ratings than George W. Bush. He was constantly racked with stress and by the end of war he looked as though he aged 20 years. He had to deal with a divided country, a war that resulted in 600,000 fatalities, the reconstruction of the devastated south, mounting federal debt, political rivals, and a crazy wife. Through all of this, he still managed to make great decisions that were moderate and in the end brought the country back together. The United States would not be the same without Abraham Lincoln and I am so grateful that I was able to learn about him in a in-depth manner.

So what about Trump?  Trump is currently the front runner for the Republican Party which ironically Lincoln helped found back in 1854. The Republican Party is quite different today than it was in Lincoln’s time but United States politics is not. As in Lincoln’s time, there are rival parties and a lot of bickering over how best to run the country. Trump unfortunately is far from one to compromise and is very quick to respond to opponents via the media. He spouts hate and reminds me of a bully with a lot of money. Lincoln never ostracized and downgraded members of his own party; Lincoln especially never offended others publicly with the intent to draw publicity. These contrasts make me sad because I want the next president to be like Abraham Lincoln and I want Americans to remember what works and what does not work in politics. Politics requires compromise and nothing can be accomplished without careful consideration of all perspectives. We should not base our vote on whether a candidate is a Republican or a Democrat but rather on their character and their ability to work with others. Can anyone honestly tell me that Donald Trump will unite our country and make it better through his graceful character? Lincoln was one in a trillion but we can at least look for a candidate that mirrors him in at least some manner. Let’s learn from the past and remember that great leaders are those who are humble, not those who hold themselves higher than everyone else…Trump Tower anyone?

8 thoughts on “Abraham Lincoln vs. Donald Trump

  1. I really liked the article. I’ve been following the status as well and Trump seems to be attracting every possible camera, phone and eye by making bold remarks on public and I’m not sure if that’s the kind of person anyone would want as a president! America probably needs someone more mature.. After a great stint with Obama, I wonder if Trump is what America needs! Fingers crossed

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  2. Loved your book report, I actually had the privilege to visit Abraham Lincoln’s home, neighborhood and read up on his political journey in 2014. I viewed his bedroom, and length of his bed, needless to say his feet were hanging off. I heard about his wife “Mary” and how their oldest son died of; I believe scarlet fever? After that, she was overcome with grief and forced her two youngest children to sleep in the bedroom with her & Ab, trying to keep a close eye on them. This arrangement went on for years, so much for any action (Ha Ha). Maybe that and other events did drive her crazy, poor lady. Life was hard back then, but their morals were true and everyone has their best interest in the country. Oh how I would love a candidate like Abraham Lincoln in my life time to cast my vote. I would love to see our country heal and have everyone feel the pride of living in the United States of America. BUT, society has shown time and time again over my years that there is a lot of greed and corruption. It seems like instead of trying to bring the country together as one, both the Democrat & Republicans are divided, which doesn’t help our country at all. I personally don’t like Trump or his personality, I do believe he is like a spoiled brat and he down grades his other opponents. But, if it comes down to a Sanders vs Trump, I will sadly have to vote for Trump. Overall, we all loose either way.

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