Sunday, December 02, 2012

Never thought of it this way

I like HL Mencken. No surprise. But have not read him extensively. Another writer quotes this assessment from the (other) Great Curmudgeon, on the sainted Gettysburg Address:
Let us not forget that 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, and 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.

Kinda stunning, when you think about it.

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