January 6, 2021, 158 years after his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln’s presidential successor and leader of the Grand Old Party, incited insurrection. Four people died as thousands of this man’s followers assaulted the Capitol of American Democracy. Their purpose was simple: to prevent the Congress of the United States from carrying out its Constitutional duty, to accept the outcome of a Presidential election, thus allowing the peaceful transfer of power to occur two weeks hence.
Lincoln was witnessing the vulnerability of America’s democracy to internal attacks and expressed it on November 19, 1863 at Gettysburg; he said “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
Lincoln inspired and led Americans in a fight against other Americans to defeat slavery and to rededicate the entire nation to its founding principles. Or again, in his words: “… that we here highly resolve that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”
The fundamental question all of us must address between now and Inauguration Day, is whether enough Americans still believe as Lincoln hoped we would, that our country’s political system is worth defending. If we do, than all of us need to pledge together with President Biden and Vice President Harris, we will prevent lies, greed, blind ambition and rabble rousing from creating the conditions that caused January 6, 2021.