Monday, October 5, 2009

Abe Lincoln Weighs In On Health Care Debate

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) speaks homespun common sense in good midwest American fashion here in his opening statement on the currently proposed health care reform legislation. Let the Congressman have the floor.



He's eloquent. He's sincere. He quotes Lincoln ("You can't make a weak man strong by making a strong man weak.")




Of course, I was curious as to the source of this Lincoln quote, so I went searching. It does not appear that Honest Abe wrote these words, although they have been attributed to him for many years. Snopes traces it to a Presbyterian minister named William John Henry Boetcker who was the director of the Citizens' Industrial Alliance when he penned these truisms in 1916. The theory goes that they were later published on the back of a leaflet of genuine Lincoln quotes and the confusion was inevitable. Nonetheless, the ideas are Lincolnian.

Ronald Reagan quoted these pearls of wisdom at the 1992 Republican National Convention, and attributed them to Lincoln.
I heard those speakers at that other convention saying "we won the Cold War" -- and I couldn't help wondering, just who exactly do they mean by "we"? And to top it off, they even tried to portray themselves as sharing the same fundamental values of our party! What they truly don't understand is the principle so eloquently stated by Abraham Lincoln: "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves." If we ever hear the Democrats quoting that passage by Lincoln and acting like they mean it, then, my friends, we will know that the opposition has really changed.
This clip does not include the spuriously attributed Lincoln line (it follows just after), but it is well worth the five minute investment to watch it.



You can read the full text of the speech here.

4 comments:

R.B. Glennie said...

I must say, I was sceptical that these were Abe Lincoln's words when I encountered the term, `class hatred.'

I've never heard anyone saying such as thing in the nineteenth century - or at least, before 1865 - that wasn't some kind of socialist or another.

And Lincoln was no socialist.

Anonymous said...

Wow, another Congressman not telling us the truth! Amazing. I guess this guy doesn't let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Anonymous said...

Socialism has nothing to do with what he said. Veracity does. Conformity to truth has something to do with it. If he's going to tell the American people that Lincoln said something in order to support his premises, he ought to accurately quote President Lincoln. He failed to do so and failed the American people with his distortion.

Anonymous said...

Socialism has nothing to do with what he said. Veracity does. Conformity to truth has something to do with it. If he's going to tell the American people that Lincoln said something in order to support his premises, he ought to accurately quote President Lincoln. He failed to do so and failed the American people with his distortion.