Liberal supporters of President-elect Barack Obama’s who thought he was one of them should ready themselves, for they are about to be Greeleyed.
Horace Greeley, for those who don’t or remember know their history, was the stridently abolitionist editor of the New York Tribune who in August 1862 wrote an open letter to Abraham Lincoln to tell him that anti-slavery voters like himself, whose votes gave Lincoln the 1860 election, were deeply disappointed he hadn’t acted more decisively to free the slaves.
To this Lincoln famously responded:
If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I don’t believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be error; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.