Dear Mr. Trump,
Four score and a hundred and sixty years ago our forefathers brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the expanding proposition that everyone is created equal.
Now you and your administration will test whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We anxiously hope that our dedication to our inalienable rights can sustain that nation so it might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate – we can not consecrate – we can not hallow – these rights. The brave men and women, living and dead, who you threaten, have and will consecrate them, by enduring, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what is said here, but it will never forget what you will or will not do. It is for us, the living, to be dedicated to the unfinished work which has, thus far, been so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from the honored servants we take increased devotion to that cause for which they fought so hard – that we here highly resolve that these efforts shall not be in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
The preceding has been rattling around my head since the election. It is unapologetically immoderate and dire to be sure, but then, so is Benevolent Leader Trump.
It came about because I keep remembering that teachers always promised me Hitler couldn’t happen here. And then we elected someone with demagogue rhetoric (who granted, hasn’t tweeted “his plan” for us to see the warning signs in hindsight). I have to trust if Obama couldn’t get anything done for the good because of Congress, then the other edge of that sword should be, Congress should be able to keep us from going downhill too fast.
Based on the version of the speech in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Text and brief history here