“Of the people,” part of Lincoln's prayer for this country came through as the most important aspect of democracy a few weeks ago in Egypt in its purest spirit, the spirit “of the people.”
Now “by the people” is Egypt's next step, that is how do they define and chose the representatives of the people. They must not go in the direction that the French did after their revolution.
Our revolution was not against our own government but against a foreign government beyond the sea. And now there is another hard part, “for the people. Definition of the people and what is in the spirit of the people must be defined and understood well in the hearts of those who represent the people.
What is in the spirit of the people in the U.S. even today needs to be clearly defined. Most important in this spirit is human survival and the survival of humanity, as individuals, as members of a nation and of nations and as members of humanity.
We are sufficiently advanced in the world today that no one in our nation should worry about going hungry nor malnourished.
Most will seek to satisfy these required conditions on their own, but the concept of “for the people” guarantees that no one shall go hungry. And this is one of the elementary starting points, seeing to the acquisition of means for self-fulfillment.
Not going hungry means that people should be prepared to fulfill themselves within the society. As democracy calls for being free to do what is in one's means and in one's interest, it doesn't mean that failure to improve one's means nor to achieve those means is rewarded my the abandonment of individuals, families and communities.
We are helping communities like New Orleans and countries like Haiti and neighborhoods in big cities and families and individuals through various aid programs.
Therefore “for the people” deals with the manner in which this principle aspect of social requirement is handled. If not in the logic of this, then in the words, the poor ye shall always have with you and whenever ye are able, do them ye do for me. And also the command to honor thy father and thy mother—our obligation to the elderly, to the sick and disabled.
The achievements of individuals within society strengthens that society and its security and those efforts must be supported. Education and health efforts are important in this regard.
The revolution in Egypt and the spirit of the people was to give freedom to the people of that country and the opportunity to fulfill themselves and not to become poor and necssarily dependent on government. Nor can government for the people abandon the people.
“For the people” and “by the people” need careful definition in the process of government and in its role.
The events of the past few weeks have defined for me, one that I found difficult to define, Lincoln's main-held aspect of government, “of the people.” We have seen the true spirit of the people in the Egyptian revolt and in their seeking freedom in order to express and fulfill themselves.