Lincoln on Political Persuasion

“When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind, unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and true maxim “that a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”

Speech at Springfield, February 22, 1842


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Lincoln on the Presidential Election and Candidates of 2016

“We cannot have free government without elections…  The strife of the election is but human nature practically applied in the facts of the case. What has occurred in this case must ever recur in similar cases. Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good. Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged…”

Remarks, Washington, D.C., November 10, 1864


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Lincoln on Principled Decision Making

“…as you have made up your organization upon principle, stand by it; for as surely as God reigns over you and has inspired your mind, and given you a sense of propriety, and continues to give you hope, so surely will you still cling to these ideas, and you will at last come back again after your wanderings, merely to do your work over again.”

Speech at Chicago, July 10 , 1858

“Important principles may and must be flexible.”

Last public address, Washington, D.C., April 11, 1965


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Lincoln on Public Opinion and Polls

“Public opinion in this country is everything.”

Speech at Columbus, September 16, 1859

“Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion can change the government practically just so much. Public opinion, on any subject, always has a “central idea,” from which all its minor thoughts radiate.”

Speech at Chicago, December 10, 1856

“With public sentiment nothing can fail; without nothing can succeed.”

Speech at Ottawa, August 21, 1858


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Lincoln on the Republican Party

“All you have to do is to keep the faith, to remain steadfast to the right, to stand by your banner. Nothing should lead you to leave your guns. Stand together, ready, with match in hand. Allow nothing to turn you to the right or the left. Remember how long you have been in setting out on the true course; how long you have been in getting your neighbors to understand and believe as you now do. Stand by your principles; stand by your guns, and victory, complete and permanent, is sure at last.”

Speech at Chicago, March 1, 1859

“The chief and real purpose of the Republican Party is conservative. It proposes nothing save and except to restore this government to its original tone…”

Speech at Columbus, September 16, 1859


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