Dear Presidents Washington and Lincoln,
On this, the 283rd and 205th commemoration of your births, I feel it incumbent upon me to write this letter. We have strayed far from the legacy which you bestowed upon this great nation. The horizon is very dark indeed. I admit this with shame, not due to any degradation of America on my part, but because she was degraded on my watch. I seek whole-heartedly a return to the robust tradition of Republicanism and Liberty which was your gift to the world, yet cannot help but acknowledge the guilt I bear for failing to halt the encroachment of tyranny in this land.
Instead of unfurling the powerful wings of Liberty, which can lift all men alike from the darkness of indentured poverty, we became afraid. Frightened by the specter of failure, we began to shrink from the dangerous blessing of liberty; finding the comforting servitude of safety more appealing than the bracing uncertainty of freedom. We have never known deprivation as past generations of Americans endured and too many were ensorcelled by the siren song of strength.
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