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.