Today in America is the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's greatest speech - the simple 272 word paean to the ideals that are in the words of the Declaration of Independence - that men are born equal and that government should be accountable to the people, not the other way around. Lincoln's speech at Gettysburg on November 19th, 1863, was intended to be nothing more than an afterword to the lengthy oration by retired senator, Edward Everett, but in a little over two minutes the President said far more than Everett had said in two hours.
Abraham Lincoln is portrayed by some historians as pragmatic and even unprincipled - deferring political and military confrontation over slavery until he was forced to act. But those historians obviously have not read that letter that I saw at the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln devoted his life to what he knew was right and he stood by his principles to the end of his life.
I see no counterpart amongst politicians today.