In The Spirit of Lincoln: Posters and Hopes

This is a project I wrote with my friend James Pedrick at WorldVision ACT:S. The essay came out of a conversation we had about the upcoming election and our desire to see a candidate that resembled the spirit of Abraham Lincoln. The artwork was inspired by vintage presidential campaign posters. At the bottom you’ll be able to download the artwork for free. Enjoy!

Saturday marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

On this historic day President Lincoln took great risk and courage to announce the freedom of the 3-4 million slaves that were living in the United States at the time. The country was in the midst of a painful civil war, and such a bold announcement would undoubtedly create further division and animosity in the short term.  But Lincoln knew there would never be any true unity if a segment of this country’s population was withheld the unalienable rights that our nation was founded on. The stand needed to be made, and he was willing to make it.

 

As modern-day abolitionists who’ve been advocating for rights of human beings, we think this is a day worth recognizing. Slavery worldwide continues to be an injustice that mocks our upward evolution as a society. You would think that after all these thousands of years of progress we would have removed this cancerous tumor from our communal habitat, but still it goes on. More than ever actually. And we know that, just as back then, there must be a stand made today for the plight of those who are being held captive in all forms of slavery.  If we do not take action, this issue will continually tarnish our rhetoric of universal unalienable rights.

 

That’s why this day is a bitter-sweet day for us. For sure it’s an inspirational milestone for what our modern movement can be, but it’s also a sobering reminder for where we are presently at.  Many of us who are advocating to strengthen and renew policies against trafficking are discouraged at the sloth-like pace of our current leaders, who are admittedly stunted because of extreme partisanship and the hype around this current election. These issues demand cooperation and resolve… both values which seem lacking in our present government. But it’s easy to blame the system. The harder one for us to swallow, if we are honest, is the feeling we have that this generation will grow up without ever seeing great leaders like Lincoln.

 

So it’s in this vain we made these 2012 election posters…. to call upon the spirit of Lincoln. That what we truly want to vote for in 2012 is a candidate who would work for unity, that would lead with decisive determination, and would seek to uphold the rights of all people. That all individuals….

 

“shall be thence, thenceforward, and forever free.” A.L.

 

We still have hope that the world could come to a proclamation of freedom like our country did 150 years ago. We still believe in the power of government and individuals to loosen the chains of injustice.

What was done on Sept 22, 1862 was seemingly unimaginable at the time.

We are ready for the unimaginable today.