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  • Brevity is the Soul of...Clarity

    On this date (November 19) in 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave perhaps the greatest speech in American History, the Gettysburg Address.  The text of the speech is short, less than 300 words, a fitting reminder to contemporary politicians that, sometimes, the most succinct speeches are the most meaningful.

    Perhaps the brevity of Lincoln’s remarks can be explained by the only inaccuracy in the Gettysburg Address: namely the assertion that “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here….”  In Lincoln’s view, it was the actions of the brave soldiers who fought rather than his rhetoric which conveyed the appropriate message.

    In this speech, Lincoln aptly summarized the first principles of our founders.  First, he argued that America was dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, meaning that they are endowed with equal rights by their Creator – thus the statement that America was “conceived in liberty.”  Second, Lincoln asserted that we must devote ourselves to protecting ”government of the people, by the people, for the people.”  By this, he meant that we must defend the American tradition of self-government by republican and constitutional institutions.

    The Civil War was fought to ensure that a country founded on these ideas could ”long endure.”  Today, our first principles are under assault from a long tradition of progressivism which tramples on the equal rights of the individual and undermines republican government, seeking to replace it with an unaccountable bureaucratic state.

    It is up to us to study the wisdom of our founding principles, and to dedicate ourselves to the always-unfinished work of defending our American heritage of liberty and self-government.  Those who have sacrificed so much more in the past to save our first principles deserve nothing less than our full effort in these present struggles.

    Posted in Featured, First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Brevity is the Soul of...Clarity

    1. Brenda, California says:


    2. Bill, Atlanta says:

      I agree, also; however, when will we mount a grassroots effort to educate and mobilize our communities to hold our politicians in Washington accountable to uphold these principles? Presidential politics aside, we just re-instituted the worst Congress ever that continues to act like buffoons after the election. What will it take to mobilize the supposed 90% who disapprove of their performance?

    3. Mel says:

      You are correct.

    4. Pingback: Brevity is the Soul of…Clarity « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    5. Peter - IL says:

      The concept is clear and concise, "What part of NO don't you understand?"

      We've heard it before, but other than these simple words it holds a very clear meaning that is rarely mistaken.

      I believe this is one possibility how the founders crafted our Constitution. The words on the parchment represent the map of which their posterity's were to follow.

      The tone of the writing in the Constitution, is what I hear what our forefathers meant and felt when they proudly placed their signatures at the bottom.

      As to say "What Part Do You Not Understand!"

      Clear and concise

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