Wanted: Leaders Who Tell the Truth?
By Terry Newell from Huffington Post
"On March 4, 1865, with the Civil War finally approaching a victorious conclusion, Abraham Lincoln delivered his Second Inaugural Address. Rather than satisfy the audience's thirst for celebration and revenge, Lincoln gave a sermon on the meaning of the war, suggesting that it was God's punishment to both North and South for slavery. He also asked all Americans to forgive their enemies, who were, of course, other Americans - "[W]ith malice toward none, with charity for all" - so as to "bind up the nation's wounds."
Regarded by many now as perhaps the greatest of all inaugural addresses, it was not regarded that way at the time. Lincoln expected this. Writing less than two weeks later to New York politician and long-time supporter, ThurlowWeed, Lincoln acknowledged that "I believe it is not immediately popular" but that "It is a truth which I thought needed to be told."
It is hard to imagine a modern president so forcefully telling the nation a truth they do not want to hear, especially one that puts them at fault and asks of them a sacrifice that runs directly counter to their passions. Indeed, Gerald Ford may be the last president who did so when he pardoned and asked the nation to forgive Richard Nixon."
Read the article.