The following list of “Cannots” was compiled by William J. H. Boetcker. He was born in Germany and emigrated to the United States as a young adult. He settled in Brooklyn, New York where he would become an ordained Presbyterian minister.
Mr. Boetcker was an excellent orator and became an internationally well-known motivational speaker.
Unfortunately, Mr. Boetcker’s list of “Cannots” has been, on many occasions, inaccurately credited to Abraham Lincoln.
Interestingly, when read in a different light, Boetcker’s list, unwittingly, defines and maligns much of the fundamental ideology of radical, second-wave feminism. The italics are mine.
!. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. (spendthrift through “independence”)
2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. (radical feminist vs. Christian men)
3. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. (radical feminist vs. Christian men)
4. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. (poor women vs. rich men)
5. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. (Hobby Lobby, etc.)
6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more of your income. (spendthrift through “independence”)
7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. (poor women vs. rich men)
8. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money. (spendthrift through “independence”)
9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence. (feminist, anti-male, academia)
10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. (Feminist support of female-based social programs)