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The Ten Cannots

July 11, 2011 - Rob Weaver
Last week, a reader dropped of a copy of a short essay titled “Abe Lincoln’s Guidelines” printed on faded newsprint.

I since have learned the 10 statements are attributed to the Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, a conservative lecturer, sometime in 1916, more than 50 years after the death of our 16th president.

Nonetheless, the guidelines deserve repeating:

The Ten Cannots

1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong

3. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.

4. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

5. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.

6. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

7. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

9. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

The eighth and ninth points seem to be lost on many in our nation’s capital.


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