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In August 1864, Abraham Lincoln was in the re-election fight of his life. His opponent, George B. McClellan was, it appeared, winning and Lincoln was resigned to losing. On the 23rd of that month, Lincoln assembled his cabinet and asked them to sign a document, sight unseen. The document read:

“This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will by my duty to so cooperate with the Government President elect, as to save the Union between the Election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterwards.”

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McClellan the peacemaker

McClellan was running as the peace candidate—the candidate to heal the nation in of its civil war. To do so, McClellan was willing to sacrifice the union. A former general (whom Lincoln fired), McClellan, had seen his share of war and wanted to end it, even to the extent of compromise and giving up ideals.

Lincoln, ever magnanimous, was willing to humbly work with the Government President elect to ensure a smooth transition, but, not willing to give up on his ideals, was determined to secure the union before McClellan took office.

This past week it is becoming increasingly obvious that Hillary Clinton will probably be elected in a little over two weeks. To some, her election will be heralded as the end of the world; to others as the second-coming. Whatever side you fall on, may we all be as magnanimous as Lincoln and may we all pray that Donald Trump will act like an adult and graciously leave the stage.

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