Friday, October 27, 2023
#300 / Lead Like Lincoln
Steve Inskeep is co-host of NPR's Morning Edition. He is also the author of a book with a wonderful title, Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded In A Divided America.
Anyone who reads my blog postings with any regularity will undoubtedly know why I say that Inskeep's title is so good. "Differ We Must," I do believe, is a statement that captures the genius of American government. I wrote about my understanding of this not so long ago, on Saturday, October 21st. Unlike those who believe that a nation is held together by what its people have "in common," the United States is held together by its commitment to self-government, to a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," to use Lincoln's own definition. Differences are a "feature," not a "bug," in our way of thinking.
A major purpose of this blog posting is to suggest that those reading it attempt to track down Inskeep's article in the October 7-8, 2023, edition of The Wall Street Journal. Inskeep's article was titled, "How Politicians Can Really Lead Like Lincoln." There may be a paywall problem, but give it a try. That's my advice. I think Inskeep gives good guidance to all those involved in politics, and particularly those who would like to "lead."
If you have any idea that you might like to do that (and I can tell you, from my personal experience, that political leadership is a joyful burden), then Inskeep has a number of "pointers." All on the mark.
Here's the one I want to leave you with (particularly with the thought that it's timely advice, given what is happening in the Middle East, and the status of our debates about the global warming crisis in which we are all enmeshed):
Lincoln didn't tell his supporters they were morally superior to the other side.
As we engage in the political debates and disputations that are essential to the practice of politics, can we all remember that, please?