Happy Birthday, Abraham Lincoln

[Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President, looking at a photo album with his son, Tad Lincoln, Feb. 9, 1864] (LOC)

Abraham Lincoln was one of my first heroes.  Growing up in the rural Midwest, he was a man of my people.  As a young conservative, he was the founding father of the Republican Party.  As an American, he was the man my ancestors fought for—the man who saved the Union.

Get the books, and read and study them till you understand them in their principal features; and that is the main thing. It is of no consequence to be in a large town while you are reading. I read at New Salem, which never had three hundred people living in it. The books, and your capacity for understanding them, are just the same in all places…. Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.

Abraham Lincoln, 1855

The man and and the myth of Honest Abe Lincoln is as valid today as it ever has been.  Any one of us can raise ourselves up from nothing to become President of this great nation.  We can say what we will and do what we will.  We can try new things, fail and live to try again another day.  We each have the right and responsibility to serve a purpose greater than ourselves.

Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809.  So far we have come in 200 years.  So far we have yet to go.

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Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan

Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it’s not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work—work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.

If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.

President Reagan’s First Inaugural Address

President Ronald W. Reagan would have been 98 years old today.  Rest in Peace and may we once again find “willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God’s help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us”.

The Executive Power

Today we witness an orderly transition.  Those judged to have lost do not take up arms.  Those judged to have won do not round up the opposition before firing squads.  Americans all, we live to fight another day.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article II, Section I. The President.
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-President chosen for the same Term, be elected…

 Amendment 20. 
1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Pretty cool, eh?