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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Lincoln comparisons to Obama ill-advised, superficial”

    The inauguration is upon us – finally. Now that the 44th president has arrived, I hope that two important and immediate changes sweep across the nation.

    First, I hope the endless comparisons to Abraham Lincoln die down or better yet, cease altogether. Of course I realize the superficial parallels to Lincoln evident in Obama that CNN analyzes 24/7, but I also see the remarkable differences between these two men.

    As Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and John Stauffer, contributors for The New York Times, write, “”Lincoln was thoroughly a man of his times, and while he staunchly opposed slavery – on moral grounds and because it made competition in the marketplace unfair for poor white men – for most of his life he harbored fixed and unfortunate ideas about race.”” Lincoln may have supported the abolition of slavery, but he certainly faltered when it came to true equality. Clearly, the fundamental ideologies of Lincoln and Obama are starkly divergent. Such comparisons, then, are largely unfounded, albeit somewhat captivating.

    Obama isn’t simply continuing the legacy of Lincoln. To say that is to lessen the significance of this moment – a moment in which Obama begins his own tradition entirely. Besides, this country doesn’t need or want Lincoln version 2.0 in the White House; instead, this country fully deserves Obama 1.0.

    Second, I hope the merchandising of Obama dies a horrific and painful death. Since Election Day, infomercials for cheap, commemorative crap have invaded our televisions and taken us hostage. No, I don’t want an official Obama plate with an inspirational inscription. No, I don’t want an Obama/JFK half-dollar. No mug, no “”I Kiss Barack”” lipstick, no pocketknife. I want none of it. I just want the man to make good on his promise of change. If he does that, I’ll be beyond ecstatic. The fulfillment of his promise to America will be more tangible and real than any dinner plate.

    So on this historic day, let’s raise our glasses of La Finquita Winery’s Limited Edition 2005 Napa Valley Barack Obama Merlot (retail price $54.95) and toast to four years of prosperity, hope and change. To Barack!

    – Justin Huggins is a senior majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology.

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