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Abraham Lincoln in Egypt

Today the doubts begin on whether there will be a happy democratic outcome in Egypt. There are no guarantees.

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. His most famous words also addressed doubts about democracy. Could American democracy survive a civil war? Could it make a transition from half slave and half free to emancipation?

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.

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 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.

The Americans of Lincoln’s generation proved the doubters wrong.

Now it is up to the Egyptians to be dedicated to the unfinished work, to be dedicated to the great task remaining before them, that their nation shall have a new birth of freedom.

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  1. Jo wrote:

    Ah ah “Now we are engaged “

    Posted February 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink
  2. Oak wrote:

    I really tire of the Abraham Lincoln hero worship. Lincoln was a politician, seeking power over other people, much like any other politician. During the war he was another bloody butcher and a dictator who jailed his opposition. We forget that Lincoln used the Civil War to crush democracy and dissent at home to preserve his own power.

    Why did we call Bush a liar and a tyrant when he used the same kind of wartime rhetoric? But we give Honest Abe a free pass for much the same murderous behavior? Where is our skepticism?

    God help the Egyptians if they just elect a new tyrant.

    Posted February 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

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