Why I Still Admire Abraham Lincoln

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When I was a child I thought of Lincoln as a child would. I liked the hat!  I also “knew” he freed the slaves. I also knew he was the president of the North during the Civil War. Finally, I had heard that Lincoln, even as a boy, loved books. I was told he would read by firelight at night. Things things about Abe appealed to me in a great way. Lincoln was such a lovable “character.” Of course, all of these things were true.

As I grew older my knowledge of Lincoln expanded. I also heard and read things by others who didn’t like Lincoln. How could anyone hate Lincoln? I discovered that, yes, Lincoln wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t the perfect man, husband, father, politician, or president. Sometimes he said things that I wish he hadn’t said (perhaps he had wished so too). This is the point, I suppose, that many people who started off admiring Lincoln-left him.  Some of those folks then became Lincoln critics. You know what I mean. Those folks still say something like: “Lincoln was a racist because the Emancipation Proclomation didn’t free any slaves.” They also are fond of saying: “He only issued the Emancipation Proclamation to save the Union. He didn’t care about Blacks.” Frankly, it’s gotten a bit old for me. Typically, the people who voice such crticisms of Lincoln know very little of Lincoln. It seems they are riding the “Lincoln was a racist” train that someone else started. That train has been running ever since. Those same people never mention the ramifications for ending slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation and it’s impact on winning the war. More importantly, they NEVER mention that Lincoln was the prime mover behind the 13th Amendment that did end slavery forever in the United Stated of America.  But I digress…

Most of the criticism that I have heard regarding Lincoln was borne out of ignorance. I said “most” of the criticism. Like I said, he wasn’t perfect. His critics seem to demand a perfection from him that they do not demand out of any other historical figure. Nor do they demand that perfection from others they personally know. Nor do they demand it from themselves. Lincoln, like any other human being that ever lived and will ever live-was human and therefore flawed.

So why do I still admire Abraham Lincoln? Because despite the imperfections-warts and all-he was a great and good and honest individual. He had character and courage. He made the right moral and ethical decisions-under the worst moment in American history. Despite his brillance he didn’t take himself too seriously. He never forgot his roots. He cared for people. He wasn’t always “out for number one.” He had a great sense of humor. He forgave others. He had convictions and stuck by them no matter what the cost. He handled his criticisms well. He wasn’t handsome but endearing. He tended to not dress smartly but he had a charm in doing so. He loved kids and animals. He loved his country. He served in the military. He was athletic. Some say that Lincoln was made brilliant because he was “lucky” enough to become president during the nation’s crisis. I say he was already brilliant and that the nation’s crucial hour only served to highlight the greatness that was already in him.  I still admire Lincoln for all these things and more. I still admire Lincoln because he is big enough in the “big picture” to endure whatever his naysayers hurl at him.  When others left him, pushing him aside like they’ve done with so many other American heroes, I kept the course to a greater understanding of Lincoln for myself. Many others have had the same experience, I know.  We feel like we know him now. He is in our blood. Sometimes we think like him-yes, it’s weird. Those like-minded of you know what I’m talking about. Most people only think of Lincoln vaguely-barely having any knowledge of him at all. He is a picture they remember in some classroom history book-long forgotten. If only they had dug deeper. If only the critics had dug deeper as well. Then they all would know why I and so many others like me-STILL ADMIRE ABRAHAM LINCOLN.


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6 Responses to “Why I Still Admire Abraham Lincoln”

  1. Janice says:

    Abraham Lincoln was the coolest president that I ever knew. I admire his passion to fulfill his dreams and not holding back. And not letting what people say get to him in any way. And always staying positive.

  2. B. Nash says:

    Mr. Means: thank you for sharing your opinion. I had to edit your expletive- but otherwise your comments are unfiltered. Of course, everything you said about Lincoln I’ve heard over the years many many times. We both have our opinions- and that is fine.

  3. Johnny Means says:

    Look up stuff about Lincoln from Thomas DiLorenzo, Lincoln was not only a racist, but started a pointless war. Tell me: what was so bad about the South suceeding? So they left, they offered to pay back their part of the national debt, so why couldn’t they leave? Oh yeah, Lincoln was a racist, dictatorial A…..E who wanted to create his idea of a perfect union. He even tried to get all the blacks to go to Liberia, going as far as asking some of the top people within the Black community to leave as an example: they said no. Lincoln is easily the second worst president in American history, right behind that idiot FDR.

  4. Blake C. says:

    Abe Lincoln was not a racist.(probably the people who say that are.). If u ask me, he changed the US history AND world history. What he did at the time was incredible. Being assassinated wasn’t deserved. Without him is like a flower without petals.

  5. B. Nash says:

    It is again a pleasure to hear from you. I could have wriiten everything you said in your comments! It’s great to hear from someone else so like-minded. Sometimes I feel like a “voice crying in the wilderness”- if you know what I mean.
    I need to take some pics of me with the new shirt. Yes, I love it! With the holidays I’ve just been too busy. Thanks again Chris!!!

  6. Wow, you’ve got a lot of the same books as me!

    I began to seriously admire Lincoln during a tough period in my life 15 years ago. I had known a bit about the Lincoln story as a schoolkid – that he freed the slaves and such – but it was a visit to the Springfield Lincoln sites that made him “real” to me and my longing to be free that made me admire him. He was like the perfect hero – here’s somebody who climbed his way out of poverty AND freed a people so that they could have an equal chance, too – at a time when I wanted to be free. In a lot of ways, Lincoln freed me.

    I’ve never wavered in my admiration for Lincoln; it’s only grown stronger over the years as I’ve learned more about him. Lincoln is the primary inspirational figure in my life and the reasons why I began to admire him factor just as prominently in my life now as they did then. I feel it is my mission to bring Lincoln and his message to other people and show that he is a bright, inspiring figure, and that is one of the main reasons why I started Lincoln Apparel. My devotion to Lincoln is lifelong.

    I think a lot of the Lincoln “haters” want to tear him down to bring something else up, or they’re neo-Confederates who think the South was right, so they have to tear Lincoln down (however flawed their beliefs are).

    Have a great day, and I hope you like your second Lincoln Apparel shirt as much as your first,

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