"Old age comes on suddenly, and not gradually as is thought." Emily Dickinson
Lincoln, just called to my attention by Quinta Jurecic:
I answer: If it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
Whitman, in Democratic Vistas, seen several years ago at Brain Pickings:
America, if eligible at all to downfall and ruin, is eligible within herself, not without...Always inform yourself; always do the best you can; always vote.
We should be able to see so clearly ourselves.