Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, If He Had Been More Honest

Recently by Gary North: TSA: Thou Shalt Acquiesce

At the ceremony honoring half of the fallen dead at Gettysburg, Lincoln delivered a speech justifying the slaughter. It became the most memorable speech in American history — surely the most famous Presidential speech. I had to memorize it in the fifth grade in 1952, in the town of Marietta, Ohio.

We need to remember it for what it really was: a political speech. Political speeches are not noted for their full disclosure. So, I have re-written it. Here is the Gettysburg Address, decoded in terms of Republican Party politics in the fall of 1863.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=O1iJFWBmOI0%3Ffs%3D1%26hl%3Den_US

Here is the text.

Back in 1776, a group of regional politicians launched an illegal revolt in North America to create a far more lucrative tax jurisdiction, which was then sold to the voters by the marketing slogan of “liberty.” It was officially dedicated to the proposition that all males are created equal, other than kidnapped Africans and their descendants.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether this tax jurisdiction, or any tax jurisdiction so justified and so marketed, can long endure, especially in the face of another group of regional politicians who are trying to pull off a similar stunt in the name of the same slogan.

We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for members of the Union Army who here gave their lives, that this tax jurisdiction might expand. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not sanctify this ground. Half of the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which half of those 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 from these honored dead, we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this jurisdiction, under penalty of perjury, shall have a new birth of revenues, and that government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations, shall not perish from the earth.

November 29, 2010

Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com. He is also the author of a free 20-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.

Copyright © 2010 Gary North