When Gretchen Wollert sent me an invite to review her new book, Born to Fight: Lincoln and Trump, I’ll have to admit that I was a little skeptical. And I always think about that skepticism whenever I bring out a new book as I am now. Many people are out there writing books, so how are you supposed to know one from another now that publishing has decentralized? Ironically, we live in a time when more books are produced and sold globally, yet human beings seem to have lost the means to their intellect. But there was something about Gretchen that I liked a lot, so I read her book and found it quite good. It was more than just another book on Trump riding on the coattails of his presidency. What she did that was unique was compare President Lincoln and President Trump in a parallel that was oddly similar in so many ways. Not to mention was an unusual reminder of the times we live in and how they aren’t much different than how things were before and after the Civil War. Where I didn’t expect to learn much new for me, it turned out that Gretchen’s comparison over more than 100 years of American history was the exact thing needed to answer a question I had been thinking about a lot lately, whether we should be a house divided or value the ways we are different. And to accept that fate.
In my book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, I have many quotes that I like a lot. Still, as I read Gretchen’s book, one came to mind how the Civil War started essentially because Lincoln was elected. Soon after he won his re-election, he was killed by a radical leftist, an actor from that social order, just a few days after the war was over. JFK was killed very early in his term, again by a radical leftist—an open communist that many think was deeply tied to a newly created Deep State. By the time Trump came along, the killing of presidents had changed. My quote reflects this transition as such: “Once the dandies of the world took ownership of production, the means to a living, a new way of killing people has become fashionable–the ruining of their reputations or at least the attempt of it. These days we call it “cancel culture,” but that is just a new name for an old practice: that replaced the honor of a gunfight to the death to preserve honor and integrity.” The attempt to kill Trump was under the new method of erasing him from existence, starting with Twitter. The modern belief is that a killed reputation is better and cleaner than actually shooting someone in the head, removing them from life itself. We might now look at the behavior of the political left and our modern Deep State and be shocked into inaction by the evil of it all, but it’s not new. It’s a repeat of history over and over again. These repulsive forces against the righteousness of America will never go away until they are defeated and utterly destroyed. There has always been an assassin element rooted in political parties in America, so far always on the political left, and our good Christian sensibilities have usually turned the other cheek over and over again, empowering the bullies. But what is happening now is not unusual. It happened before, which is what Gretchen was able to capture wonderfully in her book. And if we don’t put an end to it, we will see assassinations physically or by social ostracization well into the future. There is no making peace with it.
Now Lincoln tried to bring everyone together by stating that a “House divided cannot stand.” And to this day, many Republicans are still saying it, and they are always the first to compromise. That gives the wild communists always left-leaning the power and leverage politically. They know Republicans will move off their position; they never meet anybody halfway. Democrats take and take and take until there is nothing left but an empty husk of the country. And if you don’t do what they want you to do, they plot to get rid of you in every way possible. That’s how they function. They know Republicans don’t want a “house divided,” so they are always looking to show just how much the house is divided. And they use that leverage to dominate the right in every way. That is until people voted for Donald Trump, and he was willing to fight the good fight against the Deep State, much to the political left’s consternation. But this time, the left was slipping, and they had to get rid of Trump before they lost their grip on power, which I would argue has already happened. The left has power on paper. But they do not have the hearts and minds of the masses, and that brand has been forever damaged. They are presently living a very slow-moving death.
I closed Gretchen’s fine book thinking that America can stand as a divided house. Ultimately, Lincoln picked a moral war that killed hundreds of thousands of people for the idea of freeing the slaves. The battle was a bloody mess, and it had to happen to do what was right in the world. Trump, in his way, had to stand up to China and the jealous villains of the world who wanted to see the end of America. Trump’s America First platform was, in its way, a demand for freedom from the clutches of Chinese communism that had been well planned and was well on its way before Trump took office. The violent reaction to Trump being elected was much the same as the South had toward Lincoln. There will always be these violent uprisings when people pick a president outside of the forces that think they are in control. And to take a page out of President Roosevelt, which I think is another good comparison to Trump, peace is no good if we allow evil to boil into life. Specifically, Teddy Roosevelt said, “the pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer.” When we see evil, we are compelled to face it down and destroy it. Not to make friends with it.
Ultimately, that is what I learned from Gretchen’s book. For her point, she wanted to show how similar the lives of Lincoln and Trump were. But it’s in the context of history that the more powerful message is clear to all. As the American people, we always have picked the right kind of fighters to do what needs to be done. The forces that want to keep us under control have always sought to kill off our champions for justice, which we have seen in our own time with how Trump has been treated. But as we’ve seen, this isn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last. We must allow for the house to be divided, not to sacrifice everything to unite it. We need to have our battles; we need to fight the fights. And through the smoke, we need to see who wins. But to accept evil, no, we can’t do that.