A fine essay from ’92, nicely framed with the added commentary from our present day.
October 14th, 2008 at
donald kiaer says:
This war is essentially a peoples contest. On the side of the Union it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men, to lift artificial weights from all shoulders; to clear the path of laudable pursuit for all; to afford an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life. This is the leading objective of the government for whose very existence we now so bitterly contend.
Our popular government has been called an experiment. Two points in it our people have already settled – the successful establishing and the successful administering of it. One still remains – its successful maintenance against a formidable internal attempt to overthrow it. It is now for us to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets; and that when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided, there can be no successful appeal back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal, except to ballots themselves, at succeeding elections. Such will be a great lesson of peace: teaching men that what they cannot take by election, neither can they take it by war. Abraham Lincoln (R-Ill)