The Atlantic of that period did its half within the struggle for freedom and equality and union. A number of months earlier than the editors printed “Paul Revere’s Ride,” they endorsed Abraham Lincoln for president, and scored the debased ethos of the age:
Sordid and materialistic views of the true worth and objects of society and authorities are professed an increasing number of overtly by the leaders of common outcry, if it can’t be known as public opinion. That aspect of human nature which it has been the thing of all law-givers and moralists to repress and subjugate is flattered and caressed; no matter is worthwhile is correct.
The present stewards of The Atlantic wouldn’t declare at the moment’s journal to be the ethical or aesthetic equal of The Atlantic of the antebellum period. But we nonetheless imagine America is price saving. And on this second of peril, through which a person uniquely unsuited for the presidency stands for reelection, and through which purveyors of sordid and materialistic views allow this man to demolish the establishments and concepts that make America—it’s best to pardon the phrase—nice, we have now tried, and can proceed to strive, to convey you the reality of this disaster. Our cowl story this month, by Barton Gellman, is a transparent warning about what the approaching months might convey. David Frum, who early on in these pages recognized the encroaching hazard of autocracy, warns that consultant democracy on this nation hangs within the stability. Over the previous 4 years, The Atlantic‘s writers have uncovered corruption, depredation, racism, and the fragility of our democratic experiment. We will proceed to do that work, it doesn’t matter what occurs on November 3 and after.
We thanks for studying, and for becoming a member of us on our modest model of Paul Revere’s experience.