With my cell phone causing me problems yesterday, I found myself in that unfathomable situation where without company or reading material I would be stuck on the train with nothing to do but travel. So I went to the newsstand and did something I haven’t done in quite some time. I bought a magazine. The magazine I chose was the most recent edition of Newsweek, the one with Abraham Lincoln on the cover. Reading the article made me think long and hard about the concept of civil war in these United States, what would cause it, and what the potential impact would be on our society.
By all accounts Abraham Lincoln was a great man. He dared to change one of the most significant and indecent aspects of American society. As somewhat of a news junkie I follow current events to the extent that I am able to form opinions and see patterns according to my own personal opinion. With this in mind I realize that on some level Lincoln may have been fortunate to be the right person at the right time, but with such a large segment of the population opposed to his stance that it caused enormous consequences both nationally and for him personally, Lincoln deserves his positive legacy.
But what if he were alive today? With today’s perception of what is a Democrat and Republican, it may come of a shock to the unknowing that Lincoln was a Republican president. How would he have been perceived by his party and opponents today? I understand that times change so the comparisons are questionable, but to me it brought a glaring issue to the forefront. The issue I am speaking of is the growing schism between the right and the left that leads to the use of the words Conservative and Liberal as a means to insult people. The danger in this schism is that when people are divided to this extent the people that come to forefront are often those whose agenda challenges peoples’ freedom. When that happens true evil rises accompanied by war and persecution.
Pope John Paul II was a great man. He fought against Nazi oppression, helped Jewish friends as a young man in Poland, helped bring down the Soviet empire, and lead the Catholic Church with goodness and thoughtfulness. Pope John Paul II was unquestionably a Conservative.
Steven Spielberg has directed films about the Holocaust and Slavery, given enormous amounts of money to charity, and used his voice to champion causes that support human rights everywhere. As someone who generally supports the Democratic Party and based on his public stances on social issues Steven Spielberg would most likely be categorized by most as a Liberal.
In today’s world when spoken of by the opposition, both Liberals and Conservatives are evil and the cause of all our problems. Just ask Rush Limbaugh or Janeane Garofalo. I am sure they will tell you how evil Liberals and Conservatives are respectively. If you need confirmation I am sure you can get it from the likes of Ann Coulter or Michael Moore. Just ask these people, people who naturally have no personal agenda (please recognize the sarcasm), and I am sure they will show you, in detail how Conservatives and Liberals are destroying our society. In fact, let us pretend Lincoln were alive today. We might have Rush Limbaugh show us what a traitor he is to his Conservative base and a danger to the future of all good people of the good ole US of A. If that doesn’t work for you we can have Michael Moore dig up some dirt on him and show us how he is using the hardships of a segment of our society to push his Republican agenda and unjustly seize control of the government. I’m sure the word conspiracy will be in there somewhere as well. Whatever the case may be, today that Liberal thinking Conservative would be seen as one evil war-mongering killer of the fabric of American society.
In today’s world, a world where anyone who is not like-minded is an evil Conservative or an evil Liberal, the only place to be is smack in the middle. But be careful. If you’re a Conservative who believes in a woman’s right to choose or a Liberal who believes in a tough stance on Foreign policy you’ll be thrown right back into the category of evil. But fret not. The great Abraham Lincoln will most likely be standing right beside you.
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