Lincoln's Inaugural Address

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Garlande Henry January 22nd, 2013 Period: 8 MR. DUFFIE HW ASSGNMNT: “ 3 OPINION ARTICLES ” Saying What Matters in 701 Words President Obama prepares to deliver his second Inaugural Address, beware: second inaugurals have not fared well in American history. First inaugurals have provided many memorable lines. Franklin D. Roosevelt, taking office in the riptide of the nation’s greatest depression, asserted, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” John F. Kennedy told Americans, “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” By contrast, the words of second inaugurals have largely slipped from memory. Why have second inaugurals fared poorly, and why did Lincoln’s succeed? To begin with, second…show more content…
Lincoln is instructive in how religion can become inclusive. “Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God,” he said, telling an audience angry at the deaths of so many sons that the South read the Bible as much as the North. Lincoln made a final move that also set him apart. Inaugural addresses can be exercises in self-congratulation, both of the candidate and the nation. In his second Inaugural Address Lincoln, quoting Matthew 18:7, lovingly scolded America. “Woe unto the world because of offenses,” he said. Lincoln dared to declare there was something evil at the core of this great nation: “If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offenses.” This year’s audience will expect Mr. Obama to detail his priorities for the next four years, from fixing the economy to reforming immigration to curbing gun violence. Maybe, like Lincoln, he should surprise his audience. At the service in Newtown, Conn., we heard a president sure-footed in invoking faith as an antidote and using Scripture not as a mere illustration but as the core of his argument. Many have wondered why this side of the president remained veiled during his first four years. This…show more content…
He could cook better than they did, he thought, so why was his restaurant failing? “I couldn’t figure out what the hell we were doing wrong,” he told us. Mr. Chang could have blamed someone else for his troubles, or worked harder (though available evidence suggests that might not have been possible) or he could have made minor tweaks to the menu. Instead he looked inward and subjected himself to brutal self-assessment. Was the humble noodle bar of his dreams economically viable? Sure, a traditional noodle dish had its charm but wouldn’t work as the mainstay of a restaurant if he hoped to pay his bills. Mr. Chang changed course. Rather than worry about what a noodle bar should serve, he and his cooks stalked the produce at the greenmarket for inspiration. Then they went back to the kitchen and cooked as if it was their last meal, crowding the menu with wild combinations of dishes they’d want to eat — tripe and sweetbreads, headcheese and flavor-packed culinary mashups like a Korean-style burrito. What happened next Mr. Chang still considers “kind of ridiculous” — the crowds came, rave reviews piled up, awards followed and unimaginable opportunities presented themselves. During the 1970s, Chris Argyris, a business theorist at Harvard Business School (and now, at 89, a professor emeritus)

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