Accusations that the president and his Cabinet were not equal to the tasks were among the least of the odious lines hurled by his critics.
He was described by those who have nothing but disdain for him as a standard-bearer for a vast, corrupt political system.
Many described him as having no public executive capacity and said his absence of government experience infuses itself through all departments of the government.
They got real personal with jabs being flung around the country about his appearance as he was likened to nonhuman species.
His hometown newspaper said he makes a fool of himself to mortify and shame the intelligent people of this great nation.
One of his own Army generals called him an idiot.
Soon after taking office he was described as making us the laughingstock of the whole world, saying European powers despise us because we have no better material out of which to make a president.
After his arrival at the White House, contempt for him was so vicious and so personal that it has been marked the historic low point of presidential prestige in the United States.
President Donald Trump’s supporters need not despair in these nasty things being said by those who despise him.
That’s because all of the above are characterizations hurled at Abraham Lincoln. Not Trump.
The foregoing is a compilation and paraphrase from history. Entire books have been written about how loathed Lincoln was. It is all chronicled in the media of the day, with much of it coming from editors and publishers of newspapers and periodicals across the country.
The man largely revered as the greatest president in our history was pilloried with hate speech exceeding the disdain the current president is facing.
Lincoln’s destiny depended on the survival of the union, which was seriously threatened by the Southern states that wanted to set up their own separate country.
While states are not seceding today, there is a seriousness of saving the country from the incessant growth of government, the loss of personal freedoms, painful taxation, crippling regulations, a failing health care law, open borders, terrorism and other threats to our national security.
Trump is working to rein in such threats. Those who oppose his efforts can be compared to Lincoln’s critics who wanted to destroy his presidency.
Many following the 1860 election regarded Lincoln as illegitimate after having received less than 40 percent of the popular vote. That’s a record remaining as the poorest showing by any winning presidential candidate in our history.
By comparison, the same ridiculous cry of illegitimacy based on his November vote totals seems even more absurd when applied to Trump’s election.
Another assessment is worth including here as the incessant media barrage aimed at him continues.
Lincoln faced a similarly motivated and combative press during his own political career. In response, he took his case directly to the people as described in Harold Holzer’s 2014 novel, “How Lincoln Played the Press.”
Trump’s approach in dealing with the assault on him is following a familiar pattern of Lincoln promoting his own agenda and controlling his own publicity.
I’m certain to receive expressions of outrage suggesting that Trump can be placed in the same company as Abraham Lincoln.
A simple Google search of Lincoln’s presidency will produce far more support for this comparison than room allows for my short summary here.
Our 16th president never knew the unsurpassed esteem that developed for him after departing this earth. I have no illusion that the 45th will reach anywhere close to such a pinnacle.
But he may just be able to draw strength from Lincoln’s perseverance in the face of the invective he faced while holding the same office.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.