Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

February 12, 2009

Quote Of The Day — Lincoln-esque Edition

by Doug Mataconis

As Barack Obama tries to claim the legacy of our 16th President, perhaps he should think about this quote from Honest Abe:

16_lincoln_1“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s
initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could,
and should, do for themselves.

Something tells me he won’t listen.

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  • TJ Goss

    I believe this quote was actually from a pamphlet by William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian minister. He released the pamphlet titled Lincoln On Limitations, which did include a Lincoln quote, but also added the 10 statements written by Boetcker himself.

  • someonewhogetsit

    Actually you could reverse every one of those statements, and voila. You can the doctrine beltway ‘libertarians’ use to divide libertarians amongst themselves. Many other controlling thinktanks do the same.

  • Doug Mataconis


    Yea, I’m aware of the fact that this is a disputed quote.

  • Doug Mataconis


    I have absolutely no idea what the heck you’re saying

  • TJ Goss

    Sorry Doug, didn’t mean to sound pompous. After I read what I had written it did. I only commented because I have the quote on my wall in my office.

  • Doug Mataconis


    No worries, I didn’t take it that way.

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