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Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Lately I have felt the need to go back and read this great speech by one of our greatest Presidents. It is short, simple, and powerful (Three qualities it seems most of today's speech writers don't possess).

In a time when the country seems so divided, we must remember where we came from and what we have been through. We have the extreme right cursing the left and the extreme left doing the same thing back. We have rumors of the dissolution of the United States and creation of a North American Union through the Security and Prosperity Partnership (which seem to have died off some since the Commerce Department responded to Corsi's FOIA request). We get some conservatives saying liberals in office hate America and should be removed from office while some liberals say Bush is a terrorist.

Yes we are divided. The country does not agree on what to do about Iraq or Israel/Lebanon, or even social security and stem cell research. But we are not nearly as divided as we once were. Sure some of us may get into verbal sparing matches or dismiss the other side because they don't agree with us; there are those who still stand for a lot of the same things while understanding that neither side is ever going to get exactly what they want. This is precisely because we are a democracy and democracy is about working together. Those who respond to the opposition by attacking their character and instigating confrontations are the one who hate America because they only like the American system when things go their way and curse it when they don't.

So remember what we are capable of doing to each other when we get heated over political disagreements. We must always remember that there is more that unites us than divides us.