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More Lincoln Less Stinkin’

Johnny Molson

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Nov 3, 2020

I dunno.  You’re probably not up for chatting about marketing today.  The world is watching the United States, and we’re watching each other vote.

We’re hanging on our TVs, radios, and FaceTwitGramBook with unmatched anticipation.

When its done, some will gloat repugnantly.  Others will be irrationally devastated and angry(er).

It’s all been kinda gross, yeah? 

When a bumper sticker is enough to send people into a rage, I think we’re a bit broken.

“But, Mom!  He started it!”

And you have the opportunity to change it.  All of it.

“Kindness,” Abraham Lincoln said, “is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.”

The Sportsman Upset by the Recoil of His Own Gun (Library of Congress)

I can see Mr. Lincoln’s home from my office window.  We think of the latter half of the 19th century as a time of manners.  However, at his Presidential Museum, you’ll find a collection of editorials and political cartoons that would cause even today’s sharpest tongues to blanch.

Mr. Lincoln is “a barbarian, Scythian, yahoo, or gorilla,” wrote New York lawyer George Templeton Strong.  Abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher often knocked Abe for being unrefined and complained he was “an unshapely man.”  Northern newspapers openly called for Lincoln’s assassination, and his own General George McClellan called the president a coward, “an idiot” and “the original gorilla.”

Others tossed sharp barbs, but he knew he had the opportunity to change it.

“I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow,” Lincoln once said.

I can’t control what some grumpy-ass fella in Wichita thinks, believes, or does. 

I can have level-headed conversations with my friends and my family.  Face to face.  Not behind a social media account. 

Maybe I’ll change them.  Maybe I won’t. 

“Honest old Abe on the Stump” (Library of Congress)

I do know it can be done respectfully and with pure intent.  I believe if we spend a little more time keeping our own backyard clean, the net result will resonate far and wide.

There is ugliness out there.  Hate and racism only send us backward and must be squelched when it’s encountered. 

It doesn’t need kerosene, though.  It’s hot enough already. 

We’ve already tried kerosine and we didn’t get anywhere. 

Gandhi, Christ, Dr. King, Buddha, Thoreau, Wałęsa, Mandela… maybe a little more of that.  We haven’t tried that in some time. 

Couldn’t hurt.

In The Rabbit Hole of The Monday Morning Memo, Roy shared this:

Maybe “he” started it. 

Maybe “we” started it. 

Let’s try to do better. 

It’s time.

Johnny

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