For the past week, I have been trying to craft a post celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of the first and greatest Republican President.
Many ideas crossed my find about Abraham Lincoln.Â I recalled his steadfast commitment to winning the Civil War, even as a popular opinion began to turn against him and his adversaries heaped scorn upon him.Â His leadership also came to mind, the determination he showed as he faced many setbacks during that war, with a series of bungling and ineffective generals leading the Union Army.
I could write about how he taught himself law, history and philosophy, articulating (notably in the Lincoln-Douglas debates) a coherent political philosophy, long before he began his first presidential campaign.Â Or, I could write about his courage in signing the Emancipation Proclamation, convinced, even as some in the North were not, that we needed abolish the heinous institution of slavery forthwith.
But, sometimes, as it is with blogging, you determine to write a post, even about a person you much admire and little comes in the form of a coherent narrative.
Fortunately, this morning, as I was preparing to set off to meet the newest PatriotNephewWest, my car laden with gifts for this young lad, I chanced upon one of the Powerline posts on “Lincoln at 200.”Â In the third of those posts, Scott Johnson observes:
As a politician and as president, Lincoln was a profound student of the Constitution and constitutional history. Perhaps most important, Lincoln was America’s indispensable teacher of the moral ground of political freedom at the exact moment when the country was on the threshold of abandoning what he called its “ancient faith” that all men are created equal.
The moral ground of freedom. The moral ground of freedom, a wonderful expression to sum up the idea which drove our greatest Republican president. Throughout his life, in speeches, debates and public statements, Lincoln expanded upon that notion. And acted, to the best of his ability, in accord with that idea.
Let us not limit our celebration of this great man to the bicentennial of his birth, but remember him always, not just for his accomplishments, but also for his ideas.