"This necessity had not been overlooked; but had been provided for, as well as might be, in the notable argument of "squatter sovereignty," otherwise called "sacred right of self government," which latter phrase, though expressive of the only rightful basis of any government, was so perverted in this attempted use of it as to amount to just this: That if any one man, choose to enslave another, no third man shall be allowed to object."
Good of you to brush off this speech and polish it up for us in the 21st century, Gerard.
The argument now before us amounts to Just This: That if the Federal Government choose to enslave us all, none of us shall be allowed to object.
By a nice bit of timing, Wretchard draws another most appropriate historical analogy here.
The cycle of human events gives much to some generations, but requires much of others.
This generation of Americans may have a rendezvous with destiny.
One thing I always liked about Lincoln was his abiding respect for the Declaration of Independence. That is why he would never have offered up an Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court, even though he would have understood and accepted that there were such creatures as fat lesbians.
If you think the House Divided speech holds lessons for the present, you should check out the address he gave two years later in New York City (exactly 150 years ago)…
Honest Abe's Cooper Union Speech Described the Way Members of the Republican Party Were Demonized
Remember four months ago, when James Carville smeared Republicans as "reptiles"?
Abraham Lincoln, February 1860: "…when you speak of us Republicans, you do so only to denounce us as reptiles, or, at the best, as no better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but nothing like it to [Republicans]. In all your contentions with one another, each of you deems an unconditional condemnation of [Republicanism] as the first thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be an indispensable prerequisite — license, so to speak — among you to be admitted or permitted to speak at all."
Read the whole thing…
Well done, Erik. Excellent!
"That 'country bumpkin' from the Wild West is stating the Republican Party's positions and goals better than any East Coast establishment politician that I know of."
Heh. Now where have I heard that before?
We don't have to imagine what Lincoln would say about Socialism.
"What is the true condition of the laborer? I take it that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else. When one starts poor, as most do in the race of life, free society is such that he knows he can better his condition; he knows that there is no fixed condition of labor, for his whole life." (Speech at New Haven, Connecticut, March 6, 1860)
"There is not, of necessity, any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition for life. Many independent men everywhere in these States, a few years back in their lives, were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just, and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way to all — gives hope to all, and consequent energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all. No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty — none less inclined to take, or touch, aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them, till all of liberty shall be lost." (Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1861)
Note, the first quotation is from a speech Lincoln gave the year he was (first) elected president, and the second is actually from his first State of the Union message.
SORRY, I DON'T READ ARTICLES THAT CLAIM LINCOLN IS ANYTHING OTHER THAN A BIG GOVERNMENT REPUBLICAN of the worst order. He was (or ties with FDR and Wilson for) the worst president of all time, including Bushes, Carter and Obama, because he not only expanded the power of the federal government but also was willing to let over 600,000 of his fellow countrymen die in order to do it.