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Creative Minority Reader

Klavan on Lincoln and Obama

How serious an error was Barack Obama's election? Author Andrew Klavan seems to prefer equating it to Valley Forge.

I read once that during the darkest days of the Civil War, when it seemed to the president he was presiding over the destruction of the union he loved, Abraham Lincoln could sometimes be heard pacing back and forth upstairs in the White House and groaning aloud, “Oh, why did God ever put me in this place?”

When we consider the lives of great men, we sometimes find it difficult to comprehend how fearful, uncertain, even despairing they sometimes were on their roads to achievement. Because we already know the end of the story, their victory seems to us assured. I think it’s good to remember that it very much did not seem that way to them. What made men like Lincoln and George Washington so great, so worth commemorating, is not so much their ultimate triumph but their actions at those moments when triumph seemed furthest away.
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