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Much of the content of this blog is focused on the American political system. I make no secret about the fact that much of the action and rhetoric swirling around what I like to refer to as the circus in Washington, DC, tends toward the ridiculous, and at times – increasingly it seems – to the downright repulsive.
Since it’s Thanksgiving though, and one of our great American traditions is to step back a bit on this day to think about the positive, I’m going to do just that. And I’m going to do so by sharing what might be the greatest speech ever delivered by an American politician.
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Pay attention not only to the words and the specific references, but also to the spirit of what was said. It’s the positive attitude and forward-looking optimism in the face of great tragedy that I find most inspiring. It’s what I’m most thankful for this Thanksgiving, 2018.
“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.”
November 19, 1863
I’m your Intentionally Vicarious host, Todd Youngblood – hoping I can actually do what I just suggested – fearful that I’ll bash the other political party blindly and ignorantly yet again anyway – but still having more fun than anyone else I know.