Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/04/abraham-lincolns-gettysburg.html

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1060 West Addison?

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In the life time of my Mother’s Grandmother, and the approximate year my current house was built, this was another view of the 4th of July while slavery was still going on, and like Lincoln’s Address, now is as good a time as any to reread it.

Frederick Douglass, July 5th, 1852

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I know it’s a mishmash of several speeches, but the one that the Lincoln robot at Disneyland speaks has a sentiment I think about a lot. “At what point then is the danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live through all times, or die by suicide.”

Of course the civil was was a direct existential threat that almost did destroy us. We’re currently holding together, but it feels like a death by a thousand cuts sometimes.

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But but, he’s Putin’s puppet! It’s Putin who’s behind it all! The Russians are coming!! /s

download

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I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see this trump thing end in a limited rebellion by his followers.

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A good reading, at the end of this (which has a nice slide show accompaniment):

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Lincoln to Horace Greeley, 22 August 1862

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.

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Abraham Lincoln wasn’t a deity or a hero or a genius. He was just a man, but a good man who did an impossible job with as much strength and dignity as any human being could ever be expected to muster. Traitor Trump’s howling, drooling campaign speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial was so disrespectful that it might as well have been urinating on this good man’s grave.

By enraging us with his childish antics and infantile insults, Trump seeks to bring us down to his level.
He knows that if we become angry enough, we will finally become as idiotic as he is. If we make the foolish mistake of seeking violent or extra-legal solutions to his outrages, we will have proven Trump’s only demonstrable belief, that the law does not apply to him or his chosen sycophants.

We cannot – we must not – allow this to happen. We must rise even farther above him than we are now. We must reaffirm the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution and return Rule of Law to this country. We must repudiate the animal stupidity that is Trumpism and justly, correctly, legally punish those who betrayed their country in the name of it.

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If you don’t consider Abraham Lincoln to be a hero, you have some crazy high standards.

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It tickles me that Edward Everett delivered a two hour speech that no one remembers, and that Lincoln follows up and absolutely nails it with less than 300 words. The power of the sound-bite, eh? Not bad for a guy just about falling over from a bout of Smallpox.

Edit: Actually, I wonder if “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here…” was a dig at Everett :smiley:

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I remember struggling with this speech in grade school. It was quite difficult to parse at the time. But at least I was goddam fucking well taught it! I wonder if this is still true.

By the standards of US Presidents, Lincoln was one of the best.

But he was still a deeply flawed man.

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9 years ago prior to election season I got the bright idea to capture a bunch of people reciting the Gettysburg Address and assemble the speech in its entirety comprised of those recitations.
Let me please share it now

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It may be a robot, but there’s a reason that show’s been running for 60-something years; the mishmash speech is undoubtedly inspiring and distills the essence of what made Lincoln such a powerful speaker. And it’s very well-read and acted.

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Address of the International Working Men’s Association to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America

We congratulate the American people upon your re-election by a large majority. If resistance to the Slave Power was the reserved watchword of your first election, the triumphant war cry of your re-election is Death to Slavery.

From the commencement of the titanic American strife the workingmen of Europe felt instinctively that the star-spangled banner carried the destiny of their class. The contest for the territories which opened the dire epopee, was it not to decide whether the virgin soil of immense tracts should be wedded to the labor of the emigrant or prostituted by the tramp of the slave driver?

When an oligarchy of 300,000 slaveholders dared to inscribe, for the first time in the annals of the world, “slavery” on the banner of Armed Revolt, when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great Democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first Declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European revolution of the eighteenth century; when on those very spots counterrevolution, with systematic thoroughness, gloried in rescinding “the ideas entertained at the time of the formation of the old constitution”, and maintained slavery to be “a beneficent institution”, indeed, the old solution of the great problem of “the relation of capital to labor”, and cynically proclaimed property in man “the cornerstone of the new edifice” — then the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warning, that the slaveholders’ rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy crusade of property against labor, and that for the men of labor, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the proslavery intervention of their betters — and, from most parts of Europe, contributed their quota of blood to the good cause.

While the workingmen, the true political powers of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned laborer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labor, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war.

The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world.

Written by Karl Marx, November 1864

I’d love to know what the Trumpists think of this.

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Irony alert!

Well, MLK might have something to say about that, but I get your gist.

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