Enormous Power, Sobering Responsibility
AMERICA IS a remarkable nation. We are, as Abraham Lincoln told Congress in December 1862, a nation that "cannot escape history" because we are "the last best hope of earth." The president said that his administration and Congress held the "power and . . . responsibility" to ensure that the hope America promised would be fulfilled. Today, 130 years later, Lincoln’s America is the sole superpower left on earth.
Often I wonder what Lincoln would think were he here to see us and to marvel at our strength. There are aspects that would make him shudder—the turmoil of our inner cities, our still unresolved racial inequalities, the rising crime and continued drug use—but on balance I believe he would be pleased. Democracy is the most powerful political force at work in the world today. Our values, our persistence, our determination helped bring about this situation. America is not
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