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tv   Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Award  CSPAN  March 31, 2016 5:22am-5:34am EDT

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audience: when i think in terms of the comparison to president obama, i think of temperament. elected, almost all the political cartoons that came out showed lincoln high-fiving obama. obama announced his candidacy in springfield. i always thought his temperament, the left got so annoyed and disgusted with obama i kept thinking of the radical abolitionists and republicans, because lincoln would not act on the slavery or these other issues. sometimes, as i follow current policies, i see the temperament of gradualism, of being evolutionary, taking all sides in.
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obama styles himself after lincoln, certainly in his speaking. >> president obama is very much inspired by lincoln. his background is very interesting. he had a father who abandoned him and his family. he wrote about it, try to come to terms with it in a literary sense, in a book. withother also left him her parents, to be raised. so there are all kinds of similarities in these interesting inry how people develop their temperament as president. audience: here's another question on modern comparisons. this time to a republican. raised two issues about
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lincoln's view of the united states. that lincoln had a view of the united states as a great , almost a experiment missionary kind of view that we held out the great hope for mankind to emulate us. both secession and slavery would mean the failure of that republican example to the world. it had to be dealt with. in a sense, it was similar to ronald reagan's view in the 1980's. the u.s. being the great city on a hill. another issue, where reagan often denigrated the federal government of the united states, with a statement that, the states came first, they created the federal government. lincoln had the opposite view,
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that the federal government actually created the states. there is ample evidence of both, the you think about declaration of independence. i wonder if any of you would like to comment on that, particularly the second issue of the states versus federal government. >> i don't think, despite the don't seeory, i lincoln as a missed assist about union, he was about democracy. not the republican experiment. remember, the founding fathers disapproved of democracy. john adams thought it was a epithet, that people could be trusted. andhe time of lincoln jackson, it is democracy, democracy, democracy. sure, they wanted to preserve the union and abolished slavery, but ultimately, what so galled him was that an election would be overturned by people deciding
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to leave. that they would resort to the bullet rather than the ballot. if you look at the gettysburg address and all the elements, and his reelection, that becomes the paramount theme. as for the use of government, yes. lincoln creates a strong executive. he uses executive authority in a way no other president had before. and as many republicans today anxious about the lincoln legacy. he wasn't seen as a dictator, aching, an aristocrat. on the other hand, the definition of government was pretty simple. he said he believed government should do for the people what it is that they cannot do for themselves. and he was more than happy as president to go along with congress and make sure that all the incredible legislature was passed to do that. of course, he was a president with a republican congress and they could do whatever they wanted.
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take on your my question. speech hecooper union lays out the case for the united compact of as a states, but the federal government creating the states through the constitution. and he goes through it historically and goes through the record of what the framers in their debates about the constitution meant. that is the essence, in great part about that speech. inaugural, he reminded of andrew jackson's acclamation. who was not necessarily thought of as a person representing the power of government, although strongly connected, made the case that the states did not preexist the federal government, but on the contrary.
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lincoln felt himself well and in in the framers jackson, that he was not at all involved in a parliamentary exercise. >> there was a portrait of jackson he kept in his white house office. audience: i would like to ask themcdermott to describe commitment of mary lincoln, and the legal procedures involved, and i would also like to pose a question. if any other panel member has an opinion? >> mary did not think justice was done. the thing about the insanity hearing for me, i would like to relationship her with her last surviving son. i think that is probably the biggest tragedy of it.
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i think robert cared for his mother and loved her. i think he had genuine concern that she was ill. but there was no assistance that would help her. positionnow that that was administering drugs and alcohol, and there was no real help for her there. -- the sad part of it granted, in that time. -- time period, it was hard for a woman. they ultimately reconciled at the very, very end, and she gets to see her oldest grandchild. that is the sad part about it. the insanity trial is a hoax in this time period. there is no chance for the defendant to defend themselves, it is not a real trial, it is unfair, there is no gender-neutrality at all. they would never have done that
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to a man. and she was denied her legal rights, simply because she behaved eccentrically. and she did need mental help, no doubt about it, but there was no help for her in the medical profession at the time. -- the biggest tragedy is the loss of the relationship between her and her last surviving son, and that makes me very sad for her. let me just say -- audience: to say that mary had a shopping problem is like calling the pope slightly catholic. there is a woman took her husband to the brink of financial ruin at the worst possible time in his life. how do reconcile your depiction of mary as a companionable, womantive wife, with this
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who, behind his back, literally lied, stole, and brought him to the point of despair? >> it is hard to reconcile, no doubt about it. that did bring lincoln greek. undergirding all of those activities of mary, is a real, serious, mental instability. i don't like to recycle history, but it seems clear to me that she probably suffered from manic depression. spending,ook at the it is a very difficult outgrowth of a manic situation. she was a determined woman with an emotional problem. but i don't think that completely violates the good things that were between the lincolns. were a typical marriage with ups and downs like everybody else. difficulties,
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lincoln still supported and loved her. >> please join me in thanking our panelists for a great symposium. [applause]
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[indiscernible] michael: in which boots seems to his exact most of his life between artistic sensitivity and delusional self inflation. it gives us both the daily texture of booth's life, and the arching currents of his time not only a story about the assassin, but also about the culture from


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