Friday, July 04, 2008

Thoughts on the Fourth

I read somewhere the difference between conservatives and liberals is:
  • conservatives believe the U.S. was perfect when created, and the job is to preserve it. That, as Powerline posts today, in the words of Calvin Coolidge, the principles of the Declaration of Independence are perfect and final. Period, end discussion.
  • liberals believe the U.S. was imperfect and the job is to perfect it. "All men are created equal" may be a noble principle, but it meant "white men" in 1776.
I'm on the liberal side. So was Lincoln, whom Powerline also quotes, though he made his point through clever lawyering. "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish..." did liberal work in conservative clothing. In the midst of a war redefining "men" as men of any color Lincoln made it seem as if war was preserving the meaning of the Declaration.

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