On the eve of the eve of what pundits and voters alike are calling “the most important U.S. presidential election in a generation/lifetime/ever,” it might be helpful to harken back nearly two centuries and a then-unknown 28-year-old named Abraham Lincoln. The time was January 1838, and Lincoln was giving a speech to the Young Men Lyceum in response, at least in part, to the murder of an abolitionist newspaper editor, Elijah Lovejoy, who was murdered by a pro-slavery mob near Alton, Illinois.
Today, part of what he said he said has been simplified as follows: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
However, what Lincoln actually said is the subject of the Quote of the Day and sage words to digest as we all, as a world, wait with bated breath for Tuesday’s election decision.
“Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of 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 must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.”