Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Panda Bear on Obama, Bush, and Lincoln

The Panda Bear finished reading Decision Points by George Bush.   On the whole the Panda Bear enjoyed reading it though the Panda Bear has many disagreements with Bush's policy.   However, what she found interesting is that George Bush and Barack Obama have one major thing in common; they admire Abraham Lincoln and want model their presidency on Lincoln's presidency.

The Panda Bear had heard previously that Obama liked to compare himself to Lincoln and find similarities in their  political work history before they became president.    She heard that Obama had read Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln By Doris Kearns Goodwin and it influenced Obama's cabinet picks in the White House. The book may have influenced in Obama choosing Hillary Clinton for his  Secretary of State.   Lincoln added some of his opponents to his presidency to his cabinet.

While Obama may have run on the campaign of change, the president whose policies he wanted to reverse, George Bush, was also a deep admirer of Abraham Lincoln.  George Bush states that while he was president he read thirteen books on Abraham Lincoln's presidency. 

Perhaps Bush and Obama admired different aspects of the Lincoln presidency.  Bush states that he admired Lincoln as a war president.   Bush tried to emulate Lincoln's visiting the troops and writing condolence letters to the families of fallen soldiers.   The Panda Bear suspects what Obama admires about the Lincoln presidency is his freeing of the slaves and trying to get people of different points of view to work together.

However, that Bush and Obama tried to emulate the same president shows how complex the lessons of history are.   It shows how people can get the same information and come up with quiet different perspectives.   It is the Panda Bear's belief that it is very hard for people to find the objective truth.

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