Best thing I’ve read (so far) today

… the night is still young. In any case, its appropriate, today being Lincoln’s birthday and all, that the best thing I’ve read today would be something Lincoln said:

I have said and I repeat it here, that if there be a man amongst us who does not think that the institution of slavery is wrong in any one of the aspects of which I have spoken, he is misplaced and ought not to be with us. And if there be a man amongst us who is so impatient of it as a wrong as to disregard its actual presence among us and the difficulty of getting rid of it suddenly in a satisfactory way, and to disregard the constitutional obligations thrown about it, that man is misplaced if he is on our platform. We disclaim sympathy with him in practical action. He is not placed properly with us.

Abraham Lincoln

There’s irony in grabbing this off Prof. Delong’s weblog. Lincoln, after all, was a partisan— “The sentiment that contemplates the institution of slavery in this country as a wrong is the sentiment of the Republican party… The Democratic policy in regard to that institution will not tolerate the merest breath, the slightest hint, of the least degree of wrong about it.” — but he was able to mix partisanship with pragmatism. He was not shrill.


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