Interviewer: President Lincoln also said at that time, America is the last best hope on earth. Would he repeat it now? And, would you repeat it?

Sidney Blumenthal: Lincoln spoke of the United States as the last best hope on Earth because the United States was the last, and only, and first, suc­cess­ful Democratic Republic in the world. Europe in his time, in Lincoln’s time, was a con­ti­nent in which demo­c­ra­t­ic rev­o­lu­tions had been sup­pressed after the spring­time of nations in the Revolutions of 1848. The United States stood alone. 

And then the Civil War pre­sent­ed a great test. And if the United States were to suc­ceed, it would be the last best hope as the exam­ple of lib­er­al­ism to the rest of the world. 

It was not an acci­dent that it was the gift of the French peo­ple to the United States of the Statue of Liberty that now stands in New York har­bor, which is a stat­ue that was giv­en to rep­re­sent the vic­to­ry in the Civil War. That stat­ue holds the Declaration of Independence in one arm, which pro­claims that all men are cre­at­ed equal. And at its feet are the bro­ken chains of slavery. 

Also sig­nif­i­cant­ly and sym­bol­i­cal­ly, the Statue of Liberty does not face towards the United States but towards Europe. Even in the 19th cen­tu­ry. And now the United States also radi­ates out to the rest of the world. It’s the most impor­tant thing about being the last best hope, is to be an exam­ple. And that means that the United States must reform its own democ­ra­cy. And that this is an inter­nal process. And if it is to be the last best hope, it requires our­selves to cre­ate the American exam­ple ourselves.