Truth About Gettysburg Address

As H.L. Menken wrote about the Gettysburg Address in “Smart Set” in 1920:

“It is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination — “that government of the people, by the people, for the people,” should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in that battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. What was the practical effect of the battle of Gettysburg? What else than the destruction of the old sovereignty of the States, i.e., of the people of the States? The Confederates went into battle free; they came out with their freedom subject to the supervision and veto of the rest of the country — and for nearly twenty years that veto was so effective that they enjoyed scarcely more liberty, in the political sense, than so many convicts in the penitentiary.’….Finally, the final outcome of the Civil War did not usher in “a new birth of freedom.” It did quite the opposite. It consolidated federal power, neutered the 9th and 10th Amendments and gave birth to the fascist system and the imperial presidency under which we now suffer.”

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2 thoughts on “Truth About Gettysburg Address

  1. The freedom of the South, and a lot of the Western states too, is still subject to the supervision and veto of the North. Every Presidential election is just a contest between the Chicago Political machine and the Boston political machine. The Gettysburg Address should more rightly read; “Government of the Northern people, by the Northern people, for the Northern people, shall not perish from the Earth.” The token vote and table scraps the North throws the rest of the country, notwithstanding. What we have is not a Union. It’s a sixteen state oligarchy, in which states making up said oligarchy, enjoy conqueror’s rights, not Constitutional rights..

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