No Similarities Found In Bush and Lincoln
The Pilot regularly has letters and opinion columns that make allegations with little factual basis. Most don't deserve a response, but a recent letter by Monroe Diefendorf (Jan. 19) does.
Diefendorf asserts a similarity in "greatness" between Abraham Lincoln and George W. Bush as wartime leaders.
Anyone who has read Doris Kearns Goodwin's insightful look into the Lincoln presidency, "Team of Rivals," will find few similarities in leadership styles of these presidents.
Lincoln embraced his political rivals, made them members of his cabinet and gave each one significant roles to play. He subjugated his own ego needs to get the benefit of their insights, skills and political connections.
He recognized the importance of building and maintaining broad-based support during a very difficult time for the country.
Lincoln understood the complexity of the mission to "preserve the Union." He was strongly committed to each critical objective: a convincing military victory; abolition of slavery; and repatriation and economic recovery of the Confederacy.
Yet, he understood that not everyone in the North shared all of these objectives. Relying on his long-held belief that "with public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed," he took extra steps to build consensus among diverse interest groups and acceptance for controversial principles, before he issued formal proclamations to implement them.
Throughout his presidency, Lincoln developed direct lines of communication to as many sources of information as possible. He respected the authority of his cabinet members, solicited their opinions, and was active in meeting directly with soldiers and interest groups and reading daily field reports from the various battle sites.
Lincoln was an excellent example of true executive leadership and deservedly earned his place as one of our country's greatest presidents. Bush continues to earn his as one of the worst.
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