Excerpt: 'Don't Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards,' By P.J. O'Rourke

1. But "freedom" is less highfalutin and more of an Americanism. Theodore Parker, a prominent abolitionist, may be partly responsible for the American usage. He is certainly responsible for the American definition of democracy. Parker gave a series of speeches in Boston in the 1850s. Abraham Lincoln's law partner William Herndon attended one of these talks and gave the following transcript to Lincoln, to obvious effect.

A democracy -- that is a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government of the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness' sake I will call it the idea of Freedom.

2. Although, as I write, the Supreme Court has overruled some of this legislation. Corporations, as legal persons, turn out to have the same rights to free speech as we personal persons. Corporations are people? Who knew? This may explain how I got screwed by British Petroleum the other night after a few too many drinks at the Capital Grille.

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