Abraham Lincoln celebrated that truth in July 1858 when the country was still only a few generations old. In one of the famed Lincoln-Douglas debates during his unsuccessful campaign for the Senate, he explained:
It's strange today to read that Lincoln was considered the plain speaker in this oratorical contest; Judge Douglas was the polished orator. Have debates degenerated or merely changed? Is it the spin or the consumers of politics who have changed?
Of course there were a lot people left out of Lincoln's ringing 1858 declaration from a contemporary perspective. Did these voters' sisters count? What about the indigenous people dispossessed in Lincoln's west? But, later, when he had the chance, Lincoln did get around to doing something about the people most excluded from that vision.