Dissing the Gettysburg Address and Regretting It–or Not

A friend has just forwarded me this interesting retraction of a dismissive review 150 years ago of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:  http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/15/us/gettysburg-address-editorial-retraction/index.html.
Clearly these editors don’t share the same sensibility as our dearly beloved friends at the Post and Courier in Charleston South Carolina–who saw fit to publish some really pretty obnoxious comments about the GA this Veterans Day–of all days. I won’t honor the piece by re-posting it, but you’re welcome to look it up if you want to see what I’m referring to. If anyone felt moved to write a sharp rejoinder to the editor of the Post and Courier, I would encourage you to do so. Here’s a version of what I sent them yesterday–which may or may not appear:

Dear Sir,

Kirkpatrick Sale may prefer to live in a nation whose watchwords are not freedom and democracy, but I don’t think he’d like it. He may prefer to live in a nation that does not guarantee equal treatment under the law, or aspire to provide equal opportunity for all its citizens, but why the Post and Courier would publish his cynical misreading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is beyond me. Why you should have done so on Veterans Day of all days, the day when we remember American men and women who died in the service of this nation “conceived in liberty” and dedicated constitutionally to the principle of republican government is unfathomable.  To those men and women who answered the call of the United States and went to war secure in the belief that they were risking their last full measure for principles of freedom and democracy nowhere so memorably and definitively expressed as in the Gettysburg Address, Mr Sale’s sophistry is nothing short of an insult.

Simon Lewis

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