With apologies to Abraham Lincoln.
Twelve score and three years ago our forefathers “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 once again involved in a great civil war. Our civil war today is quite unlike the one of which Lincoln spoke. Our battles are fought not with guns in a field in Gettysburg, but with words and images displayed across the globe on flat screens of all sizes, in our homes and carried in our pockets and purses. But make no mistake, this is indeed a civil war with the future of this country at stake. It is a war between those who cling to the past and those eager to face the future. It is a war of fear versus hope. It is a war between the rights of the people and those that are rich and powerful. It is a war of words, spoken and written, outright lies, partial truths and actual confirmed facts. And it is a fight for our fundamental beliefs as a nation, that we are all created equal, and we have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is a fight for democracy.
Know it or not, every person in this country has a stake in the outcome of this war. We are the ones who will decide our future. We will fight this war with the weapons we all possess, our words, our votes, and our ability to discern right from wrong, truth from clever manipulative marketing.
It will not be an easy fight. Every day we are assaulted by our various media: television, newspapers, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. What is real and what is a fabricated version of the truth? We may need to look in places that are not comfortable to find the truth, or at least to better understand it. Somehow, someway, we need this understanding. A government of the people, by the people and for the people expects us to do this, or the government will indeed collapse.
At this time, in this place here in the good old United States of America, that is our current situation. Our federal government is not operating as our forefathers envisioned, and it is in a state of crises. It is up to us to fix it.
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us … 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