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Thread: Jefferson vs Lincoln

  1. #11
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Probably there have always been some idiots in Congress, but there seem to be far fewer outstanding people now than there were then; especially when one considers the larger numbers in Congress today. I wonder how many of today's Congress will even merit a footnote in history, except for their scandal-ridden private lives. Oops, better not forget their corruption scandals in public life as well.

    Remember Steve Allen's old TV show, Meeting of the Minds? Would have been very interesting to sit Jefferson and Lincoln down together.
    I think you are giving too much credit to the past simply because of its distance. The 19th century was the golden age of political corruption. I actually used to collect political cartoons depicting the various corrupt political shenanigans prevalent throughout the 19th century.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    I think you are giving too much credit to the past simply because of its distance. The 19th century was the golden age of political corruption. I actually used to collect political cartoons depicting the various corrupt political shenanigans prevalent throughout the 19th century.
    There may have been corruption then as well, but also those who made their marks on history. While there are even flaws in persons of greatness, the flaws were outweighed by their contributions. For example, people will note that Jefferson kept slaves, but he is remembered for his many contributions that outweighed his foibles when it came to his country's future.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    There may have been corruption then as well, but also those who made their marks on history. While there are even flaws in persons of greatness, the flaws were outweighed by their contributions. For example, people will note that Jefferson kept slaves, but he is remembered for his many contributions that outweighed his foibles when it came to his country's future.
    Interestingly, however, almost none of the accomplishments for which we celebrate him involved things done while he was President. An exception, of course, was his negotiation of the Louisiana Purchase which faced substantial political opposition and which even Jefferson believed was probably a violation of the Constitution.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    Interestingly, however, almost none of the accomplishments for which we celebrate him involved things done while he was President. An exception, of course, was his negotiation of the Louisiana Purchase which faced substantial political opposition and which even Jefferson believed was probably a violation of the Constitution.
    Does it matter whether his intelligence and foresight was more evident when he was not President? Unlike Congress, Presidential terms are limited & constitute a much shorter portion of an individual's lifespan than many Congressional careers. I used Jefferson as an example since he was one of the names in the thread. Actually, since his historical impact was NOT limited to his Presidential career, that might demonstrate the intellect he brought to the Presidency. The Louisiana Purchase, if it was his only considered contribution, set the pattern for the US eventually spanning coast-to-coast.

    Washington and the founding fathers must not have realized that Congresspeople would acquire so much power. Washington set the precedent that led to two terms being "custom", until it was later made law. When a Congressperson serves for 40 years! they acquire too much power of influence.

    It occurs to me that if we can expect a President to accomplish an "agenda" (good or bad) in 10 years, why don't we expect the same of Congress? If a Senator or Rep cannot achieve goals, or significant steps toward them, in 10 years, why should we expect they can do it in 30 or 40? Experience seems to indicate that those extra 20 or 30 years does more for the individual's asset profile and power status than it does for the betterment of the country.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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