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What would Lincoln do or say at a time like this?

William G. Holst, Esq.

Letter to the Editor,

What would Lincoln do or say at a time like this?

The political party founded upon the aspirations and principled beliefs of Abraham Lincoln was exposed as a hollow shell of itself as the son of the 45th President of the United States declared the Republican Party as the “Party of Trump”, while he recently fanned the flames of disruption and tyranny in Washington D.C. The current President himself, in full public view, instigated and provoked an attack on the Nation’s Capitol while a joint session of Congress was at work. Disruption by any means possible to retain power appears to be the only aspiration of the Trumps. It is a disruption of legal and Constitutional norms, without any regard to the possible consequences. Such recklessness has not only resulted in physical injury and five deaths but takes us all to a point of historical recognition. What is the way forward?

Certainly there is a need for investigation of whether there was a premeditated attempt to physically hold our Republic hostage. There is some evidence that members of the mob who entered the sacred halls of our democracy were attempting nothing less than detaining and possibly handcuffing Members of Congress in more than a metaphorical sense. By some miracle, the efforts by some Congressional Republicans and the rioters to disrupt, delay and prevent Congress from performing their ministerial act of counting the Electoral votes and certifying the results of the Presidential Election did not play out in the way the Trumps had hoped.

Fortunately, the rights of the people of our great Nation to be governed by majority rule prevailed. A self-centered ruler of the mob was not successful. We will soon have a President who will use the “bully pulpit” (as Teddy Roosevelt described it) for the common good and to, hopefully, restore the Union.

But Joe Biden is not going to participate in any sort of accommodations to the supporters of Donald Trump like Senator Cruz seemed to be suggesting with his references to the deal that was worked out after the presidential election in 1876. Lincoln probably rolled over in his grave then. After the recent riot with Confederate flags in our Capitol, the ghost of Lincoln might shatter out of his beautiful monument if anyone suggested that those who incited or participated in the siege on the Capitol be afforded anything less than full criminal prosecution.

Lincoln took great note of passages in the Bible. Let us reflect upon the New Testament account of Jesus at the well of Jacob and his encounter with the Samaritan woman. They had very different backgrounds and perspectives but ultimately the same God. The lesson there is we have to move forward not just in “Spirit”, but also in “Truth”.

I think Lincoln would be on the side of rational, scientific truth as well as respecting the law.

William G. Holst, Esq.