We're hearing quite a bit about Abraham Lincoln these days. It is his birthday today and if he were alive today he'd be 200 years old. John Wilkes Booth ruined that for us.
I'm not a fan of bandwagons, so I'll resist the urge to review, revise, and rewrite his legacy and history itself here. If you're looking for that, go to your favorite news site today, or just Google Obama Lincoln. There's about 27,000,000 results to sift through. Enjoy.
This may offend some people out there, but it is my contention that Lincoln's legacy proves to us one very important thing. Great leaders and thinkers are no longer elected to public office in our society. It's a sad state we find ourselves in. Leonard Klaatu says this about the issue:
- Government officials no longer lead in the arena of ideas. They react to polls. Those who are leading in the arena of ideas can be found running successful corporations, writing books, and blogging (yes, blogging, but I don't fit in that list).
- Today's crop of politicians rarely come up with bills that produce real, positive change. They turn to focus groups, more polls, and lobbyists for guidance on bills. If you need proof, take a long, hard look at the current stimulus package being pushed through Congress to the President's desk. Those who have real proposals for real change are rarely listened to because they can't be heard over the lobbyists shouts for more kickbacks.
- Government officials are always behind. Whether it's White House 1.0 or some bureaucracy standing in the way of progress, politicians today seem to have a very difficult time adjusting to changes in society.
"He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met." ~ Abraham Lincoln