"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid.
As a nation we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.'
When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created
equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics.' When it comes to
this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no
pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism
can be taken pure, and without the base alloy hypocrisy."
Abraham Lincoln
(1809-1865) 16th US President
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- David L Rosenthal      
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
 -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
The degeneracy continues, albeit in a disguised form. Nobody is brasen enough to called someone subhuman, but dare to disagree with the bigots and they will call you a Nazi or Hitler.
 -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 1
    And what became of the anti-Negro, anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant Know-Nothing party, who answered every question about their policies and practices with "I don't know", after Lincoln died in 1865? They joined the newly formed Republican Party - the party of Lincoln. Would he have approved? "I don't know".
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
    Or all are created equal except Mexicans, Muslims and gays...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Old Abe left out women. And he also discarded habeas corpus and threw those editors who disagreed with him in jail during the civil war. Hm...I wonder if GW Bush who said he was reading a book on Lincoln during his summer vacation is just following Abe's example.
     -- A.Jurgensen, Stuart, FL     
    Actually, the Know Nothings were the reason Lincoln became president. They were part of the coalition that elected him. This quote was not spoken publicly nor widely known, otherwise he wouldn't have become president!
     -- Ken Gould, Little Rock, AR     
    Think in terms of the degeneracy of today. Apply today's degeneracy, which consist largely of terrorists, elective abortionionists, homosexuality, etc. In short, a moral compass. The moral compass which served the founding fathers well in creating the great success of what we call America. Think if socialism. Government "caring for the people" programs. We are degenerating.
     -- Seth, Columbus, OH     
  • 1
    There is no one in history with as sound a grasp of the big picture while also understanding the realities of dealing with individuals and the immediate necessities as Lincoln.
     -- Rich, Liberty Center, IA     
    A good quote from a man that wanted to centralize power in the federal government, 
     -- jim k, Austin     
    Lincoln was greatly influenced by Karl Marx and the egalitarians of his day. He quotes Lockean Federal equality while presiding over the Hobbesian Republic.  Yeah, that ship or equality sailed in 1789, maybe for the better. Secession is not degeneracy and saving a Union through a quasi proletarian army of east European immigrants. Nothing like a bit of Engels when he says Catholics and Foreigners. These are different parts of the same Anglo 4 cultures from the colonies, more like factions, and thou art an Athenian with your cosmopolitan way of view. Give Uncle Tom his gun. . 

     -- Don Lee, Reno     
  • 1
    Interesting take.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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