From classrooms, to the media, to chatter among everyday Americans, you can't escape the false indoctrination that Lincoln was "a great man".
by Larry Simons
February 12, 2009
You couldn't escape the media love affair with Abraham Lincoln today. Sure, it was the anniversary of his 200th birthday, but it's one thing to simply acknowledge a historical fact; it's another to ignore unpleasant facts and transform them into a savior-like biography. That's what all the networks did today. Elevated one of the worst presidents we ever had to Messiah status.
How could the media miss their golden opportunity to continue to glorify Barack Obama by equating him with Lincoln, in whom we have been repeatedly lied to about having done such wonderful things, all of which frighteningly have enjoyed widespread acceptance for over 140 years?
Obama has been continually compared to Lincoln without any explanation why. On some websites, Obama's image has been placed on the penny and even on a recent cover of Newsweek, both figuers were pictured. Kind of ironic since Lincoln was a racist and only issued the Emancipation Proclamation for political gain, not because of any moral problem with slavery.
I couldn't write a better story on Lincoln, so I'm posting a column by Charley Reese from 2005:
I can remember when Congress took the disgraceful step of lumping the birthdays of our Founding Fathers into a generic three-day weekend. Pressure to do so came from federal-employee unions, the travel industry and, of course, Congress itself. Nobody loves a three-day weekend more than Congress.
The point of the original holidays was to honor the men on their birthdays. Certainly today's Americans need to know more about presidents like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and their thoughts on public-policy matters. They are lost completely, however, when it is all turned into an excuse for a minivacation.
Abraham Lincoln's birthday was also merged into this generic holiday, and his life, too, is important for Americans to study. Washington and Jefferson created the republic; Lincoln destroyed it. Scholars are at last beginning to dig out the real Lincoln from the layers of deification that were created by cynical men who, while he lived, had habitually referred to him as a "baboon" or an "idiot."
The real Lincoln is a much more interesting man than the saintly figure created for partisan purposes. He had his flaws as well as his virtues. He was a racist. He was an intensely ambitious man who would say and do anything to win public office. He was belligerently anti-Christian, though once elected he hid his true beliefs from the public. He freed no slaves. And there is some evidence, though circumstantial, that he was homosexual. He was also an inveterate vulgarian. Right after delivering the magnificent Gettysburg Address, he ordered the band to play bawdyhouse songs. Nor, according to his contemporaries, was he tenderhearted. He is described as indifferent to the enormous suffering his war was causing.
All of these facts were widely known during his lifetime, and most were included in the original memoir by his longtime law partner. Unfortunately, each subsequent edition was sanitized, so that today most Americans know nothing of the real man who was far more complex than his accepted image. He was not an intellectual, though one of his cabinet officers said he was "cunning to the point of genius."
As for the Gettysburg Address, H.L. Mencken put it quite truly when he said it was one of the most beautiful prose poems in the English language, but added that the trouble was it was the South, not the North, that was fighting for a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Lincoln practically imposed a dictatorship on the Northern states, closed down nearly 300 newspapers and had thousands of people arrested. Any critic of his administration or the war was dubbed a traitor. Virtually everything he did was unconstitutional. And his administration was corrupt.
All Americans need to know the true history of their country, for the country we live in today is a product of that history, not of the fictional history. You can find out more about Lincoln by reading two books with the same title – The Real Lincoln. The modern book is by Thomas DiLorenzo, a fine scholar; and the older book, a reprint, is by Charles L.C. Minor. It is published by Sprinkle Publications, P.O. Box 1094, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.
In contrast with Lincoln, the more you learn about Washington, the more you realize that he truly was one of the great men of all time. Very few men can be said to be indispensable, but some historians believe that Washington really was indispensable. Without him, we might well not have succeeded against the British and almost certainly would not have had the republic he and his contemporaries created.
It's no wonder modern politicians don't talk about him. Everything he warned against, they have embraced; everything he urged us to do, they have neglected to do. And the mess we are in today only proves how right Washington was and how wrong today's politicians are.
Here is Thomas DiLorenzo speaking about the REAL Lincoln
Here is an outstanding column written by DiLorenzo on Lincoln's birthday in 2002:
Every February 12 Americans think they are celebrating Lincoln’s birthday. But what they are really celebrating is the birth of the Leviathan state that Lincoln, more than anyone else, is responsible for bringing about. No wonder federal politicos have made his birth date a national holiday, engraved his face is on Mount Rushmore, built a Venus-like statue of him in Washington, D.C., and put his mugshot on the five dollar bill.
More than 130 years of government propaganda has hidden this fact from the American people by creating a Mythical Lincoln that never existed. Take, for instance, the fact that everyone supposedly knows – that Lincoln was an abolitionist. This would be a surprise to the preeminent Lincoln scholar, Pulitzer prize-winning Lincoln biographer David Donald, who in his 1961 book, Lincoln Reconsidered, wrote that "Lincoln was not an abolitionist." And he wasn’t. He was glad to accept on behalf of the Republican Party any votes from abolitionists, but real abolitionists despised him. William Lloyd Garrison, the most prominent of all abolitionists, concluded that Lincoln "had not a drop of anti-slavery blood in his veins."
Garrison knew Lincoln well. He knew that Lincoln stated over and over again for his entire adult life that he did not believe in social or political equality of the races, he opposed inter-racial marriage, supported the Illinois constitution’s prohibition of immigration of blacks into the state, once defended in court a slaveowner seeking to retrieve his runaway slaves but never defended a runaway, and that he was a lifelong advocate of colonization – of sending every last black person in the U.S. to Africa, Haiti, or central America – anywhere but in the U.S.
Garrison and other abolitionists were also keenly aware that the January 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freed no one since it specifically exempted all the areas that at the time were occupied by federal armies. That is, all areas where slaves could actually have been freed.
Historians have portrayed the Mythical Lincoln as a man who brooded for decades over how he could someday free the slaves. Nothing could be more absurd. According to Roy Basler, the editor of Lincoln’s Collected Works, Lincoln never even mentioned slavery in a speech until 1854, and even then, says Basler, he was not sincere.
When Lincoln first entered state politics in 1832 he announced that he was doing so for three reasons: To help enact the Whig Party agenda of protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare subsidies for railroad and canal-building corporations ("internal improvements"), and a government monopolization of the nation’s money supply. "My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance," he declared: "I am in favor of a national bank . . . the internal improvements system, and a high protective tariff." He was a devoted mercantilist, and remained so for his entire political life. He was single-mindedly devoted to Henry Clay and his political agenda (mentioned above), which Clay called "The American System."
Lincoln once announced that his career ambition was not to free the slaves but to become "the DeWitt Clinton of Illinois." DeWitt Clinton was the governor of New York in the early nineteenth century who is credited with having introduced the spoils system to America and supervising the building of the Erie Canal (which became defunct in a mere ten years because of the invention of the railroad).
Moreover, Lincoln destroyed the most important principle of the Declaration – the principle that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Southerners no longer consented to being governed by Washington, D.C. in 1860, and Lincoln put an end to that idea by having his armies slaughter 300,000 of them, including one out of every four white males between 20 and 40. Standardizing for today’s population, that would be the equivalent of around 3 million American deaths, or roughly 60 times the number of Americans who died in Vietnam.
As H.L. Mencken said of the Gettysburg Address, in which Lincoln absurdly claimed that Northern soldiers were fighting for the cause of self determination ("that government of the people . . . should not perish . . .": "It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. The Confederates went into the battle free; they came out with their freedom subject to the supervision of the rest of the country."
Another Lincoln myth was that he "saved the Constitution." But this claim is an outrage considering that Lincoln acted like a dictator for the duration of his administration and showed nothing but bitter contempt for the Constitution. Even Lincoln’s idolaters, like historian Clinton Rossiter, author of the book, Constitutional Dictatorship, referred to him as a "great dictator" who had an "amazing disregard for the Constitution . . . that was considered by nobody as legal."
The Dictator Lincoln invaded the South without the consent of Congress, as called for in the Constitution; declared martial law; blockaded Southern ports without a declaration of war, as required by the Constitution; illegally suspended the writ of habeas corpus; imprisoned without trial thousands of Northern anti-war protesters, including hundreds of newspaper editors and owners; censored all newspaper and telegraph communication; nationalized the railroads; created three new states without the consent of the citizens of those states in order to artificially inflate the Republican Party’s electoral vote; ordered Federal troops to interfere with Northern elections to assure Republican Party victories; deported Ohio Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham for opposing his domestic policies (especially protectionist tariffs and income taxation) on the floor of the House of Representatives; confiscated private property, including firearms, in violation of the Second Amendment; and effectively gutted the Tenth and Ninth Amendments as well.
As Dean Sprague correctly pointed out in Freedom Under Lincoln, all of these dictatorial acts were bad enough, but their real, long-term effect was to "lay the groundwork" for such unprecedented acts of coercion as military conscription and income taxation.
Hundreds of books have been written about Lincoln the humanitarian, a soft and gentle man. But from the very beginning of his administration he intentionally waged a cruel and unbelievably bloody war on civilians as well as soldiers. As early as 1861, Federal soldiers looted, pillaged, raped and plundered their way through Virginia and other Southern states, completely burning to the ground the towns of Jackson and Meridian, Mississippi, Randolph, Tennessee, and others. Historian Jeffrey Rogers Hummel estimates that some 50,000 Southern civilians were killed during the war, and this number, even if it is exaggerated by a multiple of two, most likely includes thousands of slaves. In his March to the Sea, General William Tecumseh Sherman boasted of having destroyed $100 million in private property and that his "soldiers" carried home another $20 million worth.
In his memoirs Sherman wrote that when he met with Lincoln after his March to the Sea was completed, Lincoln was eager to hear the stories of how thousands of Southern civilians, mostly women, children, and old men, were plundered, sometimes murdered, and rendered homeless.
Lincoln, according to Sherman, laughed almost uncontrollably at the stories. Even Sherman biographer Lee Kennett, who writes very favorably of the general, concluded that had the Confederates won the war, they would have been "justified in stringing up President Lincoln and the entire Union high command for violation of the laws of war, specifically for waging war against noncombatants."
Henry Clay’s American System had been vetoed as unconstitutional by virtually every president beginning with James Madison. But as soon as Lincoln took office, with the Southern Democrats absent from Congress, it was finally put into place, literally at gunpoint. In 1857 the average tariff rate was 15 percent, according to Frank Taussig’s classic, A Tariff History of the United States. The Morrill Tariff more than tripled that rate to 47 percent and it remained at that level for decades.
The National Currency Acts nationalized the banking system, finally, and lavish subsidies to railroad-building corporations generated the corruption and scandals of the Grant administrations, just as Southern statesmen had predicted for decades. Income taxation was introduced for the first time, along with an internal revenue bureaucracy that has never diminished in size. All of these policies put a great centralizing force into motion and were the genesis of the centralized, despotic state that Americans labor under today.
The biggest cost of the Lincoln’s war was the death of federalism and states’ rights, the value of which was expressed by John C. Calhoun several decades earlier when he said: "The great conservative principle of our system is in the people of the States, as parties to the Constitutional compact, and our opponents that it is in the supreme court . . . . Without a full practical recognition of the rights and sovereignty of the States, our union and liberty must perish." And they did.