Government of the people, by the people, and for the people

There’s a reason why, in a society where “that’s so last year” is a put-down, Lincoln still rings true. The man’s been dead for nearly a century and a half now, but he spoke the words, and wrote the words, that we all need to understand if we’re going to consider ourselves to be Americans.

This morning, driving north on Western Avenue in Chicago, I pulled my car over and stood at the base of a Lincoln statue. I recalled the Gettysburg Address, and the final sentence which says that “we highly resolve that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.” And that hasn’t happened, then or now.

On my tiny little blog–tucked away in internet obscurity–I ask anyone who is talking about secession to consider Lincoln’s words very carefully. We just had an election, and Barack Obama won, fair and square. He got a majority of the electoral votes, and our Constitution says that’s all he needed to do. Our Constitution, as amended, also says that after he serves a second term in office, he can never be the President again. That’s the whole “by the people” part. Are you seriously suggesting that doesn’t apply anymore, simply because your guy lost the election?

In 2004, I felt the same way you did when George W. Bush was re-elected. The thought of another four years with him as the President seemed unbearable. But that’s what the will of the people was, and the four years went by. These next four years will go by, too. But the results of the last election must be upheld. To suggest otherwise is simply unAmerican.

Stop the secession talk right now, and work on making the country, or your own life, better than it is. “The people” that Lincoln was referring to at Gettysburg have already spoken.

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