Lincoln and Trump
1860 Political Cartoon Showing Lincoln “ridden on a rail” into the Lunatic Asylum
Lincoln comes in at number one as the greatest president we ever had on most lists of presidential greats. We must remember that most of Washington and the world for that matter thought that Lincoln was a well-meaning dolt who did not belong in the White House. When Lincoln was first elected the London Times called him “the original gorilla”. He was not formerly educated, nor was he a polished gentleman. He was tall and gangly, wore ill-fitting suits and spoke with a high pitched western drawl. Every member of his cabinet was certain that they were more qualified for the presidency. Lincoln was an amazing speaker who, like Trump, had a way of reaching the common voter.
Lincoln also used executive orders. He suspended the right of habeas corpus meaning that anybody could be thrown in jail indefinitely without redress, something profoundly unconstitutional, and then threatened to jail the entire U.S. Supreme Court. He also used his executive powers to free the slaves in the Confederacy. People called him a dictator and said that he wanted to be the first King of America.
Yet, Lincoln differed from Trump in one major respect. He was humble and willing to accept personal slights from his ministers and his cabinet. Once after being snubbed by General McClellan Lincoln said to an aide “If he will win battles I will hold his horse.”. Trump has no such qualities.
Also Lincoln was a quick study and a prodigious worker. He taught himself the law and he taught himself how to wage war by taking books out from the Library of Congress. By the time of his death even the snobby London Times hailed him as a great man who would live forever in the halls of history,