1860 Mock Election Closing Speech
Written May 3, 2006
Throughout this election, I have been accused of being “weak” because I choose to refrain from actively opposing or supporting things that I would like to see happen across the nation, for the sake of popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty takes into account the views of all of the people, and makes a decision based upon the needs of most of the people. I strongly believe in this notion, not only because it has worked, but because I am not arrogant enough to state that my or any one person’s ideas are the best for every single person in the country. Popular sovereignty is the basis of this great union. If you choose to oppose popular sovereignty, then you blaspheme the ideas of our Founding Fathers and thus disgrace the very soil upon which you live.
Popular sovereignty has allowed the United States to stick together and to grow and flourish over the past seventy years. The Constitution has reserved powers especially for the states, and therefore I believe that the states and territories should be granted the power to choose what sort of way of life is best for that particular region. If it is necessary to use federal executive power to force legal regulation over a certain area, I will; otherwise, I will allow the idea of popular sovereignty to flow through the country, because I have faith in the citizens of our nation.
If any of my fellow candidates believes that the majority of Americans are unfit to make decisions concerning how they will live, then he lacks trust in his nation’s people. How can they, in turn, trust him? I ask that question to my fellow citizens, and I ask them ponder that carefully.
I am Stephen A. Douglas, and I love this nation. I trust that the voters will make the right decision.