A Presidents' Day for Protesters

President's Day is really a lame holiday.  But the protesters around the world are rescuing it. Here is my all-time favorite definition of democracy, from one of today's honorees--Abraham Lincoln:

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.

The genius of the first sentence is reciprocity: democracy means I will not impose on anyone else anything I do not want anyone else to impose on me. If everyone follows this rule, then ... democracy. It captures "all are created equal" and individual rights in 14 words (10 of them words of 3 letters or less), what a nice contrast to all those wordy attempts to define democracy! (including this blog post)

Could reciprocity extend internationally as well? I don't support autocracy in your society if I don't want it in my society?

For the figurative slaves protesting against your figurative slaveholders in Libya, in Bahrain, in Iran, everywhere else...may you realize your dream of democracy.