(WSAU) As someone who makes a living
through the spoken word, I can’t help but admire Lincoln and Jefferson. Their
words shaped our nation.
The idea of
states rights was much stronger than it is today. 150 years ago, The United
States was always referred to in the plural. “The
Fighting for ‘the union’ was a highly abstract notion. More accurately, it was a fight to keep this collection of states together.
Harvard President Drew Faust, a historian, makes excellent points about Lincoln before his op-ed piece comes off the rails.
would not lay down their lives to free the slaves. A northerner might be an
abolitionist, but the preferred solution to the ‘negro problem’ was for the
federal government to send ‘em back to
Today we mark the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address – where in 272 words President Lincoln tells that the war is about liberty; a government by the people, of the people, for the people. That’s a bigger idea than states rights or even freeing slaves. Those concepts exist under the tent that liberty provides.
goes astray when he wonders if our experiment of self-government is failing
today. We are a politically divided nation, but there are no similarities to
the coming apart of our nation in 1861. Senators are not holding live-round
duels outside the Capitol. Citizens with rival ideas are not engaged in
bleeding-Kansas struggles. Cadets at the Citadel or John Brown’s followers in
There is a disgraceful news item that must be addressed. Ken Burns, whose documentary The Civil War is the definite multimedia account of our nation's great struggle, invited many celebrities to be filmed reciting the Gettysburg Address. Among them President Obama.
He altered the line “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of
freedom.”. The President of the