A harsh question about a president of the United States.
Everything has a fundamental essence, a quality that makes it uniquely itself. Take an orange, for example. It’s not only a citrus fruit — it’s an orange-colored citrus fruit. Horticulturists can alter its size, its texture, its sweetness, and even (to a limited extent) its color, but as long as its color is orange, the fruit remains “an orange” because that color is its definition. Change the color, however, and suddenly you have the un-orange, the anti-orange. You have something completely different that no longer contains the essence of the original fruit. Lose the essence and you lose the orange.
America has an essence too, and that essence is liberty. Since its inception, America has been defined by liberty — both the liberty of the individual and the liberty of the nation. As the Declaration of Independence more elegantly states, “Goverments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” If we, the people make a social compact by which we consent to be governed, it means that government is our servant, not our master. Lincoln understood that ours is a nation boasting a “government of the people, by the people[, and] for the people.”
This is only a small portion of her discussion, you will want to read it all.