SAN JOSE, Calif., July 17, 2015 – Hillary Clinton delivered what has been touted as a “major speech” in Springfield, Illinois last week, where she invoked Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech. The allusion was an attempt to appear clever and more aligned with President Lincoln than the current “Party of Lincoln.”
Clinton may have had some genuine points about the current GOP, as many current Republican leaders have expressed that they would rather vote for Clinton than the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. No doubt Mr. Lincoln would be turning over in his grave at such a spectacle.
The more repulsive spectacle is the actual thought of the current GOP leaders more aligned with Hillary Clinton than the illusion of Ms. Clinton being aligned with Abraham Lincoln.
The current “House Divided” is the GOP, and it is amazing that respected conservative leaders like Mark Levin have the temerity to ask why Donald Trump is not unifying the GOP when he and “Never Trump” types have done so much to manifest division in the party from within.
However, in examining the irony of Ms. Clinton’s speech, a clear-minded citizen should wonder why Hillary is “lamenting” the GOP’s being divided because that would only help the Democrats.
In typical Saul Alinsky fashion, Clinton was attempting in her carefully staged “major speech” to link herself to a great president, as Sen. Barack Obama did in 2007 as he announced his candidacy at the very same location. The irony is supreme. Her attempt represented a distortion of who Lincoln was, and her campaign represents an inversion or subversion of the ideals and intentions of Abraham Lincoln.
Hillary Clinton used the historical stage to delve into Lincoln’s words about the United States being a “House Divided,” but it is doubtful if she understood much of Mr. Lincoln’s speech. Since Ms. Clinton is not stupid, it is likely that her words were primarily intended to manipulate others who do not understand much about Lincoln’s speech. Nevertheless, Abraham Lincoln understood that the United States had been founded as a nation dedicated to freedom; but the existence and toleration of slavery meant that the ideals of the Founders had yet to be completed at the founding, as blueprints are only plans for the completed house.
Lincoln expressed a profound understanding of the dangers facing the United States preceding the Civil War in his “House Divided” speech:
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South.
In conjuring up an address Abraham Lincoln delivered on June 16, 1858, after he had received the Republican Party nomination to run for the U.S. Senate seat, Ms. Clinton successfully created an opportunity for truth to set citizens free. The Republican Party was formed in 1854 by a coalition of abolitionist activists, former Free Soil supporters and ex-northern Whig Party adherents. The party formed at a time of great divisiveness, political turmoil and deadly violence in the United States. In his day, Lincoln delivered a very well-remembered speech; it is doubtful that Ms. Clinton’s speech even makes much sense, in light of history.
Lincoln actually made 18 clear points in the speech, but he had the audacity to tell the truth about how the United States had been divided from the beginning over the issue of slavery. Lincoln was not afraid to speak the truth, while other typical politicians would be vague or deliberately lie to the people, as they still do (even Ms. Clinton). Unfortunately, even before Lincoln delivered his speech, many of his friends whose opinions he sought condemned his words. None whom Mr. Lincoln consulted approved of it. One told him it was “damned fool utterance.” Yet Lincoln delivered it.
Afterward, Lincoln defended his intent in his speech:
My friends, this thing has been retarded long enough. The time has come when these statements should be uttered, and if it is decreed that I should go down because of this speech, then let me go down linked to the truth; let me die in advocacy of what is just and right.
After Lincoln delivered the “House Divided” speech, the Republican establishment of his day, or at least some of the more “adept” of the leaders, criticized Lincoln for what he had said – it is possible that he had been too honest – or in the jargon of the day – not “politically correct” enough for his day. They were afraid that Stephen F. Douglas would use his words against him. Many were dismayed that he had been so honest and brash – some said “impolite.” Much stronger conservative members of the party did not appreciate it, and many thought it would sink Lincoln into political oblivion.
True to form, Stephen A. Douglass, in the now famous debates with Lincoln, took advantage of Lincoln’s honesty by saying that the Founders accepted division over slavery and had not any concerns over it (a half-truth that Lincoln destroyed); so, who was young Abe Lincoln to want to change what the Founders had created and accepted? Lincoln did lose the election, and the Republican leadership attributed it to his brash words in the Springfield acceptance speech.
Eventually, when Abraham Lincoln responded to his critics, he said:
If I had to draw a pen across, and erase my whole life from existence, and I had one poor gift or choice left, as to what I should save from the wreck, I should choose that speech, and leave it to the world unerased.
Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech is one of the most famous of his speeches, and many think that it was a prediction of the coming Civil War. Yet, Abraham Lincoln was speaking as honestly as he could about history, and he was not intending to make a prophecy. Lincoln truly grasped that tyranny had never been fully broken when the United States was conceived and created. He was stating a fact that the Union was not so united from the beginning, and had been forced from one generation to the next to deal with the issue of slavery through one compromise after another.
Last week Hillary Clinton claimed this: “The challenges we face today do not approach those of Lincoln’s time. Not even close… But recent events have left people across America asking hard questions about whether we are still a house divided.”
It is certainly true that today, as in Lincoln’s day, America is a house divided. And the challenges Americans face today are as great as those in the time of Abraham Lincoln. After 240 years, a question that needs to be asked is whether genuine leadership exists on the contemporary American political spectrum to help in retaining the ideals that have kept this nation0 strong and vibrant.
The supreme irony is that the playbook of Democrat-progressives consists of dividing Americans, making them “enemies” of each other. Progressives pit blacks against whites, the young against the old, men against women, rich against the poor, labor against ma0nagement/ownership, and non-believers against believers. They vigorously stir the proverbial “pot” with real and perceived grievances for the sake of attaining and retaining political or personal power over the people.
Over 150 years ago, as the United States fought with itself over its own identity as a nation, and the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the principles in the Constitution of the United States were at the heart of the struggle. This was at the core of the crisis that led to the Civil War, which essentially ripped the nation apart by its own people. More and more the Democrats of our time show themselves to be willing to allow the country to be ripped apart again.
Hillary Clinton is simply the current representative of the Democratic Party – the latest smiley face who has been “anointed” to run for president, but her words ring hollow, as they are empty. And she is has shown more and more that she is a person primarily pursuing personal and political gain for party and not for “We the people.”