|Q: How's it feel to be a cultural icon?
|A: Gosh, do I have a choice? The press has a way of
molding people into darlings or devils. We're all victims of caricature to a degree. I try to remember all people have
strengths and weaknesses. In America, the ordinary is often idealized. I have little control over what people idolize or condemn.
|Q: Aren't you actually a racist? Many of your statements suggest that.
|A: That word didn't exist when I was alive, but my own ideas of race have evolved.
I started out pretty ignorant . . . it took time to learn that skin color is not
related to human worth. One thing you must remember I was a politician – and politics ia not unlike an auction. To some degree, I adapted to my audience.
|Q: What was your biggest single regret?
|A: Ah, there have been so many.
However, isn't it wiser to feel thankful for blessings than to harbor regrets?
Of course I wanted to keep the Union together and avoid civil war.
Had there been some way to do that without bloodshed, I would have gladly given my life. Some folks argue I should
have permitted more local autonomy. As I've said many times before, that
would have led to fragmentation. The European powers would have gobbled up the U.S. and our experiment in freedom
would have vanished prematurely . . .
|Q: You use the word "democracy", yet
didn't hesitate to enact many draconian measures . . .
|A: Now listen here, you whipper-snapper!
Running a nation is not a dainty business. Anyone too concerned
with niceties can't stay in power. War means killing people. And no nation can achieve victory over another
if it is too disunited. The measures I enacted were necessary at the time.
|Q: So what do you think about America's policies today?
|A: Hmm, I knew that question was coming . . .
Well, America's war in Iraq was pre-emptive and based on deliberate disinformation. It was an invasion for oil and planted the seed for
even more conflict. However twisted the America's leaders might be, the basic vision of our forefathers stands right. We need to
re-commit to that vision.
|Q: Some people criticize you for not being adequately religious.
Now that you're dead, could you finally set the record straight?
|A: Well, since I don't have to worry about getting
re-elected I can speak frankly. I do believe in Pure Reason, but find most religions far too sectarian and provincial.
They're like petty town elders seeing things only from their own narrow ways. That sort of vision leads to the Dark Ages.
We must to look at things with a spirit of open inquiry without neglecting our core beliefs.