Joshua Shoemaker's letter to the editor ("Time to afford all a 'fair chance,'" Nov. 12) quotes Abraham Lincoln explaining how the role of government is "to elevate the condition of men — to lift artificial weights from all shoulders — to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all — to afford all an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life."
President Lincoln's eloquence and humanity are hauntingly echoed by another man for the ages and master of the language who said, "We want to draw a line below which we will not allow persons to live and labor, yet above which they may compete with all the strength of their manhood. We want to have free competition upwards; we decline to allow free competition downwards. We do not want to tear down the structure of science and civilization but to spread a net on the abyss."
That was Winston Churchill speaking to a Liberal Party meeting in Scotland in 1906.
Bootz Mercer, RandallstownCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun