It’s a common tactic when writing speeches or giving them to quote the late and greats. Doing so adds context and depth, it provides a sense of being knowledgeable and cultured, and, of course, it will make you much, much relatable.
However, some cautions must be taken.
Firstly, you must make sure to note that someone else and not you initially said this. Secondly, and just as important, is to ensure that you are 1) using it in the correct context and 2) not comparing yourself to them.
Doing so will immediately remove any credibility you have and make you seem as though you think you are better than you are.
You would think that a man who has spent nearly 50 years in our government system and therefore had to give numerous speeches and public comments would understand this better than most.
And yet, when giving his inauguration speech, newly elected President Joe Biden made an abysmal choice in seemingly comparing himself to one of the greatest men ever to grace the office of the President: President Abraham Lincoln.
On Wednesday, Biden said, “When (Abraham Lincoln) put pen to paper, the president said, and I quote, ‘If my name ever goes down in history, it will be for this act, and my whole sous is in it.’ My whole soul is in it. Today on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together… and I ask every American to join me in this cause.”
Now, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing for Biden’s “whole soul” to be in piecing America back together. After all, there is no doubt that we are very divided right now, and a little unity to do us all more than a little good.
However, I find it odd that of all the people Biden could use to get his point across, he chose Abraham Lincoln – a man known for quite literally tearing our nation apart due, at least in part, to his decision to end the horrible tradition of slavery that permeated much of the southern states up until his term in office.
Of course, that was not his intention. Lincoln merely was giving freedom to everyone in a land that was supposed to provide liberty to all. And he’s right; he went down in history because of it – for being one of the least racist men ever to inhabit the president’s office.
Biden, however, is not quite that man.
From the time Joe Biden entered the Senate some 40 years ago, he has never ceased to put himself in a position that exploits race, not unites it.
Take his close relationships with Democratic segregationists early in his career, for example.
Or what about that time in August 2019, while campaigning for the 2020 primaries, when he said, “poor kids are just as bright as just as talented as white kids.”
Just a few months earlier, in June, he was attacked by his now-vice president, then-senator Kamala Harris, on the debate stage for being racist and being involved in forcing blacks to be bused to schools. Harris did everything but actually call him a racist that day.
Or what about when he interviewed with radio host and personality ‘Charlemagne Tha God’ in May of 2019? It was then that he told the audience, “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
And how could we forget about when he spoke to America about the pandemic noting that the “reason I was able to stay sequesters in my home was because some black woman was able to stock the grocery shelf.”
Did he really just imply that his white race was what allowed him the privilege of being able to stay home safe and sound, while “some black woman” who is obviously underneath him has to risk it all?
America should have some serious reservations about any person who says just one of these things. And Biden has said and done them all, and most in quite a short time span, I might add.
It begs the question: how is such a man, who clearly notes race as a dividing factor, supposed to have his whole soul in uniting us?
The fact of the matter is he can’t. The only thing he can do is divide us further, which is precisely what he’s already doing by pandering to minority races and the political left.
Like Lincoln, Biden might go down in history for being a president involved in a civil war. But it sure as hell won’t be for the same noble and honorable reasons.