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Title: Why Lincoln Matters

Title: Why Lincoln Matters
Author: Mario M. Cuomo
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc., New York, N.Y.

 

If the title suggests that this is a book about Abraham Lincoln – you’ve been tricked!

The book is really about attacking President George W. Bush, and Mario Cuomo, now political philosopher to the Democratic party, utilizes an analysis of the writings and history of our sixteenth president in comparison with our current office holder to reveal, in Cuomo’s opinion, his ineffectiveness.

The former three-term New York State governor claims that on every one of the big issues, such as equality, multilaterism, role of government, war and peace and the responsibilities of the fortunate few, the current Republican administration is lacking in adherence to the principles set forth by the first Republican president. He claims that the current situations in Afghanistan, Iraq and the War on Terrorism are all shadowy wars, that there is increasing
inequality in our society among whites and ethnic minorities, and that there is a lack of vision in the nation’s leadership.

Much of the book deals with issues that are too current to confirm. Governor Cuomo claims that the tenure of President Bush has so far recorded the worst job creation performance in modern history, and that although the administration “brags” that most American’s have become stockholders in American industry, most only own a few thousand dollars worth of securities and the majority is held in the hands of just the few.

The current president is lauded as a “born-again Christian,” and is noted for freely quoting Scripture (most notably – the New Testament), as did President Lincoln – who, although he enjoyed a well-worded sermon, is frequently thought to have been an agnostic. Both in his speeches and in his written correspondence Lincoln freely referred to “the deity,” although he himself was never a formal member of a church. In Why Lincoln Matters Cuomo relates
that when President Lincoln did attend church services he almost invariably sat in the minister’s study and listened with the door ajar rather sit with his wife in the family pew. He didn’t wish to be seen as a member of organized religion.

Both men were believers in fairness – Lincoln reversed anti-Semitic decisions of General Ulysses Grant to eliminate Jewish vendors from selling to Union forces, and President Bush has become quite well-known for his philo-Semitic attitude. These policies also extended to members of other faiths as well.

The book calls attention to the economic successes of the prior Clinton administration, to which the current Bush administration is heir, and compares current, Republican, economic and social policies with those of prior Democrat administrations – negatively.

All political ideas deserve free expression in a democracy, but this is a book attacking President Bush disguised as a book about Abraham Lincoln. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the findings of Governor Cuomo, we believe in “truth in advertising,” and Why Lincoln Matters should have been titled: Why You Shouldn’t Vote For Bush.

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