A House Divided

Oct 22, 2013 by

While reading Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” Speech, I recognized the structural similarities between his cause at the beginning formation of the Republican Party, and the cause of the formation of the Tea Party.  I am not stating that the problems of the current situation started with this presidency, though the speech in its current form may imply that, but this is only an adaptation for recent times.  As far as the structure of the speech, I have taken out a two major sections of the speech, not because they couldn’t be structurally adapted, but because adaptation would have left out the original language completely due to its nature in the section being on specific incidents and not a broad idea or situation.  Also, in the parts I kept I have bracketed sections where the words are my own and not a part of the original speech.  The reason for this is because words needed to be updated where possible and topics needed to be modified to the current situation.

House Divided

     “If we could first know where we are, and [where] we are [going], we could better judge what what to do, and how to do it.

     We are now far into the [fourth] year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to [financial] agitation.

     Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.

      In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.

      ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’

      I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half [government-dependent] and half [self-reliant].

      I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

      It will become all one thing, or all the other.

     Either the opponents of [government involvement in economics] will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike [common practice] in all States, old as well as new…

     Have we no tendency to the latter condition?

     Let any one who doubts, carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination – piece of machinery so to speak – compounded of the [Stimulus Package and Affordable Car Act].  Let him consider not only what work the machinery is adapted to do, and how well adapted; but also, let him study the history of its construction, and trace, if he can, or rather fail, if he can, to trace the evidences of design, and concert of action, among its chief bosses, from the beginning…

     The year of [2009]… commenced the struggle, which ended in [the enactment of the Stimulus Package].

     This opened all the [economy] to [government stimulus];  and was the first point gained.

     But, so far, [the national government] only, had acted; and an endorsement by the people, real or apparent, was indispensable, to save the point already gained, and give chance for more.

     This necessity had not been overlooked; but had been provided for, as well as might be, in the notable argument of … ‘the [just power] of government‘, which, though expressive of the only rightful basis of any government, was so perverted in this attempted use of it as to amount to just this:  That if any [government], choose to [take from one man to give to another], no … man shall be allowed to object….

     ….We can not absolutely know that all these exact adaptations are the result of preconcert, but when we see a lot of framed timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places and by different workmen – [Obama, Biden, Pelosi, and Reid] for instance – and we see these timbers joined together, and see they exactly make the frame of a house or mill, all the tenons and mortices exactly fitting, and all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or too few – not omitting even scaffolding – or, if a single piece be lacking, we can see the place in the frame exactly fitted and prepared to yet bring such piece in – in such a case, we find it impossible to not believe that [Obama and Biden, and Pelosi and Reid] all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft drawn up before the first lick was struck….

     ….Whenever, if ever, [Obama] and we can come together on principles so that our great cause may have assistance from his great ability, I hope to have interposed no adventitious obstacle.

     But clearly he is not now with us – he does not pretend to be – he does not promise to ever be.

     Our cause, then, must be intrusted to, and conducted by its own undoubted friends – those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work – who do care for the result.

     [Three] years ago, the [Tea Party] of the nation mustered over [35% of the vote].

     We did this under the single impulse of resistance to a common danger, with every external circumstance against us.

     Of strong, discordant, and even [incompatible] elements, we have gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant fire of a disciplined, proud, and pampered enemy.

     Did we braveall then, to falter now? – now – when that enemy is wavering, dissevered, and belligerent?

     The result is not doubtful.  We shall not fail – if we stand firm, we shall not fail.

     Wise Councils may accelerate or mistakes delay it, but, sooner or later, the victory is sure to come.

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