The Atlantic

Letters: ‘We Need to Read Lincoln’s Words, Heed Their Meaning, Weep That We Have Fallen Astray’

Readers respond to George Packer’s argument that a government shutdown looks like the beginning of the end that America’s 16th president always knew was possible.
Source: Toya Sarno Jordan / Reuters

The Suicide of a Great Democracy

Last week, George Packer described what it was like to visit the Lincoln Memorial during the government shutdown. “It shamed me to read” Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural, Packer wrote. “Lincoln’s eloquence touched levels of morality and high resolve that were preposterously out of reach in the first days of 2019, in the third year of the Trump presidency.”


I found the article very moving until I got toward the end. Then I was disappointed. This nation is dividing and picking sides. I had hoped I was reading a neutral article, one that was based on the concerns of its people. Instead, at the end you seem to blame President Trump for all of the issues and the shutdown. Yes, he made the decision to shut down, but we seem to have two equally stubborn opposing sides. Both are butting heads and refusing to budge. A compromise of some

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Americans Can Handle the Truth. Mueller Needs to Give It to Them.
If former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony will have any value tomorrow, it should be to guide Congress to satisfy its constitutionally distinct role. Mueller, a former FBI director, has always displayed a “just the facts approach.” He alre
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Bill Barr Already Won
President Trump’s attorney general had the first word on the Mueller investigation. It may end up being the final word.
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
Iran Is Acting Like the International Villain of Trump’s Prophecy
Any number of relatively mundane scenarios now have the potential to escalate U.S.-Iran tensions—from a fire at a militia base to the seizure of an oil tanker to the signal-jamming of a drone.