There is way, way too much money involved in campaigns for political office these days, and especially the office of U.S. President.
PACs and Super-PACs giving millions of dollars to various campaigns. A lot of this is secretive, not known to us the ordinary, average citizen. No, we don’t know the entities, the individuals or corporations, behind all this money, but you can be sure that the campaign managers and eventually the candidate who gets elected, will know who they are. They will be expected, somehow, some way down the road, to pay back in terms of votes, influence and outcomes so that the donors can make even more money, and secure more power and influence.
We might do well, in this election year of emotional hysteria, of terrible TV ads, of lies and counter-lies, of high-sounding statements of ideals and promises, which cannot nor will not be possible to fulfill by the ones who get elected, to hear and think back to some words of a wise man from the past. He was Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. These words of his are direct quotes from the prologue of a book titled “Abraham Lincoln, the Prairie Years” by Carl Sandburg.
Abraham Lincoln said these words, at various times in various settings both personal and public, in the period of 1854 thru 1865:
“If we would first know where we are, and whither we are tending we could better judge what to do, and how to do it.”
To a personal friend in a letter, 1855: “Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation we began by declaring that ‘All men are created equal, except Negroes.’ When the know-nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics.’ When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty.”
To a military governor: “I shall do nothing through malice; what I deal with is too vast for malice.”
To Congress on Dec. 1, 1862: “In times like the present men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity.”
He warned Congress: “Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We will be remembered in spite of ourselves. … The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down to honor or dishonor to the latest generation.”
Also to Congress: “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present. We must think anew, we must act anew, we must disenthrall ourselves.”
My personal advice, and what I plan to do from now until the end of November: Read, think, read some more, think again and turn off the TV at every opportunity!
Gary D. Nord