But liberty is no negation. It is a substantial, tangible reality. It is the realization of those imperishable truths of the Declaration, “that all men are created equal”; that the sanction of all just government is “the consent of the governed.” Can these be realized until each man has a right to be heard on all matters relating to himself? The plain truth is, that each man knows his own interest best. It has been said, “If he is compelled to pay, if he may be compelled to fight, if he be required implicitly to obey, he should be legally entitled to be told what for; to have his consent asked, and his opinion counted at what it is worth. There ought to be no pariahs in a full-grown and civilized nation, no persons disqualified except through their own default.” I would not insult your intelligence by discussing so plain a truth, had not the passion and prejudice of this generation called in question the very axioms of the Declaration.

James A. Garfield (1831-1881) US President (1881), lawyer, lay preacher, educator
“Suffrage and Safety,” speech, Ravenna, Ohio (4 Jul 1865)
    (Source)

On extending the vote to newly-freed slaves.
Added on 11-Sep-20 | Last updated 11-Sep-20
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