sometimes i wonder what people in the past would really think if you could transport them into the future, via a time machine, perhaps, that would allow them to arrive with all memories of who they are intact. i think most of us prefer to believe that if such a thing were possible, these visitors would stand around in awe at the achievements of their progeny. but i'm never so sure.
i'm pretty sure jesus would be horrified. i wonder if lincoln would be proud, or equally appalled. the union he so fiercely fought to save still stands, although we're no longer torn between lines of blue and gray. now its red and blue.
i've read in other places a lot of parallels drawn between lincoln and obama, and the one that strikes me as most important is that they both face a crisis for which the lessons of history can only partly be applied. we've reached another point where rigid adherence to any one ideology is foolish, where we must be ready, in the words of the new treasury secretary, to try anything until we find something that "works."
what "works" is a fuzzy term, of course, and i don't think we're ready yet as a culture to try the options i can imagine. they're too radical for most people, though i have decided to refuse to allow myself to remain limited by others' lack of imagination.
but someday, maybe, after we've exhausted all our other options, we will indeed create a government "of the people, for the people, by the people," that embraces the entire globe.