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Abraham Lincoln. Republican. Liberal.

2

June 6, 2015 by skokielib

Today, Republicans try to use liberal as a label to hurt their opponents. They think it’s a bad word. They think that trying to move forward, instead of backwards, is ugly and bad.

Here are some great quotes (courtesy of Blue Nation Review) that remind us that Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was a liberal. Like liberals today, he greatly upset bigots and the south. There was hatred. There were horrible things said. There was war. Decency won!

“Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.”
Yep. He said that.

“a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
ALL men. Just just whites, Christians, and heterosexuals.

“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
Kind of throws cold water on the whole “job creator” argument!

“corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands”
He was looking far into the future, wasn’t he?

“The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. The desirable things which the individuals of a people can not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first that in relation to wrongs embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself. From this it appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need for government.”
What was that about the government’s role?

2 thoughts on “Abraham Lincoln. Republican. Liberal.

  1. Jan Stone says:

    Well said. Then and now.

    Like

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