Steve Hayward at Forbes wonders if it’s just as well that President Obama’s schedule was too heavy to include the 150th anniversary of Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address.
One reason may be that Obama has to carefully avoid associating himself fully with Lincoln’s view about the centrality of what Lincoln called, at Gettysburg, “the proposition” that “all men are created equal.” Obama omitted this famous line from the Declaration of Independence in his famous Philadelphia speech about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy in 2008. He did finally quote the Declaration’s “self-evident truth” in his second inaugural address earlier this year, but then added in a revealing line, “while these truths may be self-evident. . .”
May be self-evident? This is what intellectual poker players would call a revealing “tell.” If hooked up to a polygraph, Obama would likely have to confess to the modern liberal view that individual rights come not from our natural equality as human beings, but from a positive grant from government. The redistributive welfare state depends on this principle for its legitimacy, as does today’s “progressive” insistence on dividing people into groups according to skin color or gender or sexual preference, and assigning hierarchies of legal rights accordingly. Much of modern liberal philosophy depends on turgid obfuscation to disguise the fact that it is at odds with Lincoln’s understanding of equal rights. (“Obama's Gettysburg Skip May Confirm Clint Eastwood's Thoughts About Him”).
Whatever his reasons, it’s fitting this president wasn’t there.