In 1863, at the close of the gruesome Battle of Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln stirringly spoke on the subject of our country. His address is one of the most prolific of any President ever to head this country. In it, Lincoln extolled the valor of the men who died to protect the freedoms of America. He then shared with us the vision that these men had, the vision behind which they gave their lives:
“That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
This was the vision Lincoln had. This vision transcends political ideology, religious belief, race, and social differences. This vision, encapsulated in less than a sentence, is the vision of America. And this is the vision that we, as Democrats, share.
We, as Democrats, are proud to be Americans. We are a people blessed with unalienable rights. We love these rights and promote government that protects us. We truly believe in a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
Democrats understand why the people are important. We understand why the framers’ first words in the Constitution are “We, the people.” Government’s purpose, as stated in the preamble, is “to insure domestic Tranquility…promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” The Constitution is clearly a people driven document. It was written to establish a government that would bless our lives and the lives of our posterity. We share the same values and concerns as our Constitution’s framers and seek to bless the lives of others through responsible government.
Some people these days have come to an erroneous conclusion concerning how our government is run. Many people in this country have misinterpreted Lincoln’s words to be, “That government of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation will not perish from the earth.” Corporations have taken over a lot of the American governmental process. Because of the ruling of the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case, corporations now go unchecked in how much money they spend in the political arena. Legalized corruption at its best, and a striking blow to the vision of Lincoln. We can see the effects of this ruling in the ongoing 2012 elections in the form of super PACs and other corporately driven entities.
Yet, we as Democrats, must remain unshaken in our resolve to bless the lives of the PEOPLE, and not the CORPORATION. We must keep Lincoln’s vision alive. We must be proud of our beliefs. We must hold our heads high and fight for the cause we know is right. We must remain ethical in all our doings. We must be the embodiment of the American vision.
As the 2012 elections heat up, let us remember in our hearts those timeless words, “Of the people, by the people, for the people.”