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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Great Title. Where did she get it?

Living History is the title of Hillary Clinton's autobiography. When I heard the title, it rang a note in my head, but I couldn't remember what from. A few days ago, on Independence Day, I read Lincoln's Lyceum speech. I have read the speech a number of times, but this was the first time since Hillary's book came out. So what did I find?

The consequence was, that of those scenes, in the form of a husband, a father, a son or brother, a living history was to be found in every family-- a history bearing the indubitable testimonies of its own authenticity, in the limbs mangled, in the scars of wounds received, in the midst of the very scenes related--a history, too, that could be read and understood alike by all, the wise and the ignorant, the learned and the unlearned.--But those histories are gone.

Now I don't know if this is what she intended to take from as her source, but if she did I find it interesting that the wife of a man whose critics might describe him as belonging to the family of the lion, or the tribe of the eagle. Especially given the Clinton's focus on "Legacy."

In this famous speech by Lincoln the major warning is against Tyranny and Demogogues whatever their political affiliations. As he states in his speech, "It thirsts and burns for distinction; and, if possible, it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves, or enslaving freemen."

This is a danger for any President, and at all times, whether it is a President concerned with his "Legacy" or a President who seeks to "Bring the Gift of Democracy to the World." We must as people be ever vigilant and let the laws of the land, and our Constitutional principles guide or decisions. But a love of, and an understanding of, the Constitution requires an appreciation for the reasons certain principles are contained within. Merely disregarding concepts like "The Electoral College" as "past their time" is a weakness and a falacy. All of the clauses of the original document were drafted at the same time, if one is outdated what is to say others aren't. This is not to say that one may or may not be wrong when compared with other principles in the document. They very well may. But proper analysis requires reverance and understanding.

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