“The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” Abe Lincoln
Lincoln was the founding father of modern-day America, his presidency was rocky and uncertain. As the nation raged in civil war with talk of cessation from the Union; the Southern states led by South Carolina, rebelled and launched an insurgency against the rest of the United States also known as the Union.
The slavery question was a major bone of contention between the North and the South which challenged nation’s ideals ; the very idea of democracy and the principles of democracy questioned. Lincoln rose from obscurity to the helm of power as if he was born for such a time; to lead the country out of uncertainty. We are not here to talk about Lincoln’s motives when he issued the Emancipation proclamation. The more important issue was his declaration that slaves would be “Forever Free” and with the stroke of the pen millions of people could live in dignity as people and not property.
Lincoln’s socio-economic view challenged the idea that conventionality was morality. The prevailing economic thought of the day was that God sanctioned slavery as the natural order of things as advocated across the cotton-producing South. This philosophy made sense if you made your money selling cotton with relatively little to no business expense. Lincoln on the other hand believed in the power of innovation even when the 1%- the plantation owners mindset was that they could never make profit without slave labor. He believed in a strong economy without oppression because America is about ideas spurring innovation not suppression of idea or thoughts or fear mongering.
Lincoln had the courage to ‘pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee’ because he understood that like any leader he answered to God Almighty the ultimate authority. Lincoln never presumed that God belonged to his party as many modern day leaders do but prayed that he would be on God’s side.
Lincoln was self-taught son of a logger who through an informal education taught himself how to read. Today he is the only US President to date with a registered patent; that was designed to lift boats.His ideas are a testament that success in business is about supply and demand and market forces not forced labor;150 years later we know that Lincoln was right and democracy has prevailed.
Lincoln proves that the pen is mightier than the sword and ballot more superior to the bullet. His ideas live long and his legacy will not die and at 150 they are strong. His story is the quintessential American story that the hope lives on and the American dream is alive today in our generation. We never take our freedom for granted but we thank God for many men and women of courage who stood up for justice, freedom, life and liberty so that others could have the same.