Memorial Day: What Would Abraham Lincoln Say Today?

Memorial Day is a holiday to remember the armed forces’ men and women and why they died to protect our freedoms. What Honest Abe would say today.

It’s been well documented that Abraham Lincoln is the political idol of President Barack Obama. Mr. Obama has even tried to emulate President Lincoln, at least, in one way.

In imitating the structure of the Gettysburg Address starting in January 2011, Mr. Obama has ostensibly started to pattern his speeches after Honest Abe’s.

The two presidents from Illinois have something else in common. Each has polarizing results from their presidencies – Mr. Lincoln in saving the nation in the Civil War and Mr. Obama in 21st century far-left policies.  So it’s apropos to anticipate what the 16th president would say about the behavior and performance of Mr. Obama on Memorial Day.

Here's Looking At You

As a holiday, when many Americans enjoy barbecues in the backyard and retailers stage sales to lure shoppers, Memorial Day may mark the unofficial start of summer. But the intended meaning goes far deeper.

Memorial Day is a day for remembrance – remembering the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces to protect our freedoms – from economic to political.

It was originally known as Decoration Day following the Civil War. The horrors of the war were fresh in the minds of the American people, and the principles of President Lincoln were recognized and honored.

Gettysburg Address

On Nov. 19, 1863, President Lincoln gave perhaps one of the best-known speeches in American history – the Gettysburg Address:

“…It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The name, Memorial Day, didn’t become widely used until after World War II. Federal law mandated it become official in 1967.

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed on June 28, 1968. Effective in 1971, Memorial Day and three other holidays were shifted to specific Mondays, which meant Americans would have a three-day holiday weekends.

Gravestones With Flag

Unfortunately, the switch has led to an indifferent observance of the solemn day when American flags are supposed to be quickly raised to the top of the flag pole then soberly lowered to half-staff. At noon – for the rest of the day – it’s to be repositioned at the top of the staff.

More than one million Americans have given their lives. But in 2013, has it led to a “government of the people, by the people, for the people?”

In many ways, the answer is a resounding “no!” Economic and political freedoms are being trampled under Mr. Obama’s reign.

Chilling similarities — Watergate  

The stench of the IRS scandal and emerging ties to the White House are reminiscent of the same type of events in the Watergate scandal that also started in President Nixon’s first term. The Republican break-in of the Democratic Party office at the Watergate Hotel was characterized as the work of just a few people.

Thanks to Deepthroat and the relentless investigation by two young Washington Post journalists, we gradually learned about hush money to the thieves, the stone-walling, lies, ties to the White House and other details of the cover up.

We learned about Mr. Nixon’s enemies’ list and his desire to use the IRS to further his goals. An article of impeachment resulted from his desired use of the IRS to target his enemies.

Genetic liberals and many Democrats disagree, but the facts are indisputable. The IRS scandal deepens by the day, and its deplorable events parallel Watergate.

Starting in 2008, conservative and Tea Party groups were prevented from tax-exempt status but liberal groups weren’t. Some of the conservative organizations were threatened even though they already had received their tax-exempt status.

False claims

During the presidential election year, in March 2012, then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told a House committee there was “absolutely no targeting.” But Lois Lerner, the person in charge of the IRS office overseeing tax-exempt organizations, knew about the outrageous behavior of her employees in June 2011.

The scandalous IRS behavior continued another 11 months – until 2012 – the IRS was still developing tax-exempt guidelines. This means the illicit activity continued for at least three months after Mr. Shulman’s misleading testimony before Congress. Worse, Mr. Shulman never returned to Congress to voluntarily correct his false statements.

In May 2013, in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing televised by C-SPAN, Mr. Shulman appeared indifferent to concerns by Rep. John Mica (R-FL) that the targeted victims were gagged for political reasons by the IRS for 27 months.

Mr. Shulman denied there had been any concerns about about the suppression of political beliefs. Then, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told him 132 members of Congress wrote him such issues. To the nonchalant Mr. Shulman, Rep. Jordan told him there were 42 major news stories on Google.

It was also revealed Mr. Shulman had an extraordinary high number of meetings at the White House in 2010 and 2011 – 118 visits – an average of more than once per week.  Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) reminded Mr. Shulman he was under oath. In denying he conspired with administration officials, Mr. Shulman claimed he only visited the White House for “the Easter egg roll” with his children and for other miscellaneous reasons.

The IRS also targeted other conservative groups – from religious organizations like the Rev. Billy Graham’s to patriotic groups that educated Americans on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Nixon-like enemies’ list

Then, we learned more about Mr. Obama’s campaign enemies’ list, which included a businessman. He was attacked with a tax audit and his company was hit with a Department of Labor audit after the Obama campaign Web site disingenuously defamed his integrity — along with seven others — for being a Romney donor. The audits cleared him, but he was stuck with $80,000 in legal and accounting fees.

An Obama Administration employee falsely besmirched the reputation of a Koch Industries. It’s no secret those businesspeople oppose Obama Administration policies.

Sounding a lot like President Nixon and his officials in Watergate who were later imprisoned, Ms. Lerner denied any wrongdoing in her appearance before Congress.

Then she had the audacity to plead the Fifth Amendment – refusing to answer any questions about her role. It’s an outrage that she used a Constitutional right that many Americans were denied by  her 900 IRS employees.

Smoking gun

With the appearance of a smoking gun in an Obama campaign-IRS conspiracy to deny conservative fundraising in order to defeat Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, Mr. Obama met with anti-Tea Party IRS Union President Colleen Kelley just prior to the IRS attacks on the conservative groups.

More disingenuous behavior in the taxpayers’ White House: They’re putting the person who oversaw the IRS tax-exempt division, Sarah Hall Ingram, in charge of implementing the highly controversial ObamaCare. (Even some of Mr. Obama’s key union supporters now demand “repeal or complete reform” of ObamaCare.)

But even in the far-left bastion of the Huffington Post, in May 2013 Howard Fineman wrote:

“With two winning presidential campaigns built on successful grassroots fundraising, with a former White House counsel (in 2010-11) who is one of the Democrats’ leading experts on campaign law (Bob Bauer), with former top campaign officials having been ensconced as staffers in the White House . . . it’s hard to imagine that the Obama inner circle was oblivious to the issue of what the IRS was doing in Cincinnati.”

In case it isn’t obvious to you, the IRS scandal is about restricting freedoms – discouraging donations to conservative-minded opponents – to lower the level of free speech in a presidential campaign to steal an election.

So as the creepy Obama Administration’s role in the IRS scandal unfolds, what would President Lincoln say today?

You know the answer. Honest Abe believed in good government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And that the heroic men and women who have died to protect our freedoms deserve better — much better.

From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s public-policy picks:

“Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”

-George Bernard Shaw


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.