Today would have been former President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and in another great video from
Prager University. Professor Doug Douds explains why The Gettysburg Address led to a new birth of freedom in the United States.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. 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 those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. 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 hallow — this ground. 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 they 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 nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
November 19, 1863
The president emphasized that it was not just “my rhetoric or delivery” that carried him into the White House but that his speeches contained basic truths that the average American instinctively recognized, like the necessity of preserving individual freedom. “What I said simply made sense to the [man] on the street,” he said.
In his early career as a radio broadcaster in Iowa, he discovered a basic rule that he followed all his life: “Talk to your audience, not over their heads or through them. Don’t try to talk in a special language of broadcasting or even of politics, just use normal everyday words.”