One of my favorite comedy bits on Late Night with David Letterman is the Great Moments in Presidential Speeches:
While it is a somewhat cheap shot to make fun of Bush's difficulty in speaking coherently (but oh-so-easy, given the wealth of examples), there is something so incredibly sad in finding no wit and certainly no wisdom from our current President, especially with a whole office of speechwriters at his disposal. And it's not an ideological thing either, because there are some people with whom I completely disagree, but I at least acknowledge their ability to convey their beliefs in a smart and thoughtful manner.
It made me think about this quote by Abraham Lincoln that my father had framed in his office for many years:
"It is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."
So I went on the hunt for other quotes from Lincoln, ones that I wish I could somehow implant in the brain of George Bush. BrainyQuote provided just what I was looking for. If only our current Republican in office could be as sage as the first Republican:
- Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose - and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
- Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
- America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
- Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.
- Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.
- I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.
- I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
- I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
- If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.
- Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.
- Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.