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« Let’s Pretend | Main | Do You Know Any Big Words? »

Truths About Governments

7655~abraham-lincoln-1887-posters.jpgThe following pithy statements have been mistakenly attributed to Abraham Lincoln for many years.  Lincoln may have indeed believed them, but it was left to a man in a succeeding generation to spell them out in the form below.  Regardless of their origin, they bear reading and thinking about today.  The contemporary political dialogue that routinely rages in the public square too often pushes the exact opposite of these bedrock truths.  Every time you hear a politician speak, measure his words against this template.  I promise you that it will be an enlightening experience.

  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  3. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
  4. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  5. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer.
  6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
  7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  8. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
  9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.
  10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

The “Ten Points” appear every February 12 in newspaper ads honoring Abraham Lincoln. In fact, these aphorisms are from the pen of Reverend William John Henry Boetcker (1873-1962).

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