“Abraham Lincoln once stated, “When I lay down the reins of this administration, I want to have one friend left. And that friend is inside myself.” You could almost say that Lincoln’s integrity was his best friend while he was in office because he was criticized so viciously. Here is a description of what he faced as explained by Donald T. Phillips:
“Abraham Lincoln was slandered, libeled and hated perhaps more intensely than any man ever to run for the nation’s highest office. . . . He was publicly called just about every name imaginable by the press of his day, including a grotesque baboon, a third-rate country lawyer who once split rails and now splits the Union, a coarse vulgar joker, a dictator, an ape, a buffoon, and others. The Illinois State Register labeled him “the craftiest and most dishonest politician that ever disgraced an office in America. . . .” Severe and unjust criticism did not subside after Lincoln took the oath of office, nor did it come only from Southern sympathizers. It came from within the Union itself, from Congress, from some factions within the Republican party, and initially, from within his own cabinet. As president, Lincoln learned that, no matter what he did, there were going to be people who would not be pleased.
Through it all, Lincoln was a man of principle. And as Thomas Jefferson wisely said, “God grant that men of principle shall be our principal men.”
Excerpt From: John C. Maxwell. “Maxwell 101 Collection.” Thomas Nelson, 2010-09-10. iBooks.
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