We have traded reason for passion

In attempting to express my feelings on the results of the presidential election, I had many false starts — beginning and quickly abandoning points that I considered relevant to dangerous future facing all Americans in the wake of Obama’s re-election. With a blockbuster movie chronicling the struggles of Abraham Lincoln set to be released shortly and contemporary comparisons made by commentators between Obama and Lincoln, what better authority is there to speak on the subject of the greatest threat to America than Abraham Lincoln himself. The following is a most appropriate and relevant excerpt from an address that Lincoln delivered at the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois on January 27, 1838:

“At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, ‘If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.’

Passion has helped us, but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason — cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason — must furnish all the materials for our future support and defense. Let those materials be molded into general intelligence, sound morality, and, in particular, a reverence for the Constitution and laws; and that we improved to the last, that we remained free to the last…”

I fear that we are about to experience the realization of this premonition laid out before us some 174 years ago. We have traded reason for passion, and stand to lose the whole thing. Little hope remains for the great experiment in liberty born and sustained by the sacrifice of so many generations before us.

Daniel Donnelly