I just finished reading a book that contains profound significance and relevance to the times in which we’re living now. The book is titled “Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times” and was written by David S. Reynolds. It was published just last year.

Here are just a couple of reviews by preeminent Lincoln scholars. The first is by John Meacham, author of “The Soul of America.” He wrote: “Abraham Lincoln is the central figure of the American story, a flawed but noble man who insisted against all odds that the national experiment in liberty must go on in spite of all. In this wonderful new biography, David Reynolds brings the giant to life once more, reminding us of the limitations and the possibilities of politics in a fallen world.”

The second review is by James M. McPherson, author of “Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander on Chief.” He writes: “David Reynolds’ splendid biography is chock full of fresh information and insights about Lincoln that disprove the adage that nothing new can be said about this iconic American. Focusing on the cultural forces that shaped Lincoln and his contemporaries, Reynolds portrays the gathering storm of sectional conflict that erupted into a war over slavery and disunion in which Lincoln’s commitment to freedom and racial justice was grounded in moral commitment as well as political and military exigencies. A work of literary distinction as well as sound scholarship, this biography will take its place as a classic in Lincoln studies.”

See if the following paragraph from Reynolds new book strikes a chord with you: “He [Lincoln] realized that a president, in order to effect change in a deeply divided time, must strike a balance publicly between the right and left. To avoid deepening an already gaping political rift, the president must maintain a moderate public position and move at a cautious pace – unless, that is, an immediate crisis such as the secession of eleven states calls for decisive use of presidential war powers. By launching military attacks and periodically suspending habeas corpus, Lincoln did act decisively. But on the issue of slavery, the president waited to act until he felt that the majority of citizens were ready for dramatic change. Lincoln was a radical – fanatically so – and yet he never went beyond the People.”

Brown was hardly alone in pointing out Lincoln’s very close attention to the popular will. Herndon [Lincoln’s law partner in Springfield, Ill.] said similarly, “’As a politician and statesman he took no steps in advance of the people.’ Before acting, he ‘made observations, felt the popular pulse; and when he thought that the people were ready he acted, and not before.’ He did not go beyond the people because, in his very soul, he was one of them. He knew them well – their lives, their tastes, their hopes. The people respected him as Father Abraham, but they loved him as Abe.”

Now, compare that analysis of Abraham Lincoln as an effective president during one of the most divided times in the history of this country with Joe Biden’s presidency.

In my opinion, President Biden is so far ahead of the people that his popularity is in the 40% range. Why do you suppose that is? Could it be because he has no idea what that people think or what they’re ready for in terms of change. Biden ran as a center-left candidate who was going to bring the country together. But what has he done instead? He has moved to the far left in order to placate the radicals on the left. What he doesn’t realize is that most of the American people are not out on the far left in terms of extreme policies only the far left supports.

A perfect example is the proposed legislation intended to drag the country toward socialism. Unlike Lincoln, Biden doesn’t realize that’s not where the American people are! Again, unlike Lincoln, Biden really isn’t one of the people. Lincoln, in his time, was a store clerk, rail splitter, essentially self-taught lawyer, and a one-term member of the House of Representatives. Compare that to Biden’s first-hand knowledge of the people. He’s never held any other job than being a politician.

After law school, Biden served as a county councilman and then was elected to the US Senate in 1973 and stayed there until 2009 when he served as vice president for another eight years. His next “job” was serving as President of the United States. How could he possibly relate to the American people in the way that Lincoln did? How could he be one of the people? Unlike Lincoln, Biden has been beyond the people since the day he assumed office – that might have something to do with why his approval ratings are so underwater.

The American people do not want a $3 trillion social welfare program touted by the far left of the Democratic Party. That’s not where the vast majority of the American people are and President Biden has no idea where are that is because he’s a career politician totally out of touch with the people.

There are plenty of lessons to learn from Abraham Lincoln, who was truly one of the people. Too bad Joe Biden isn’t. If he were, he would have stayed true to his campaign promises about being a center-left president who would bring the people together. Perhaps he should read David S. Reynolds new book on Abraham Lincoln instead of listening to naïve socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

That’s —30— for this week.

Paul W. Barada may be contacted at news@greensburgdailynews.com.

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