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Alexander Stephens (Character)
from Lincoln (2012)
Abraham Lincoln: If we submit ourselves to law, even submit to losing freedoms, the freedom to oppress, for instance, we may discover other freedoms previously unknown to us. Had you kept faith with democratic process, as frustrating as that can be...
Judge John A. Campbell: Come sir, spare us these pieties. Did you defeat us with ballots?
Alexander Stephens: How have you held your Union together? Through democracy? How many hundreds of thousands have died during your administration? Your union, sir, is bonded in cannon fire and death.
Abraham Lincoln: It may be you're right. But say all we done is show the world that democracy isn't chaos, that there is a great invisible strength in a people's union? Say we've shown that a people can endure awful sacrifice and yet cohere? Mightn't that save at least the idea of democracy, to aspire to? Eventually to become worthy of? At all rates, whatever must be proven by blood and sacrifice must have been proved by now. Shall we stop this bleeding?
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