Monday, November 21, 2011
After 148 Years, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address Is Still A Lie
Lincoln’s poetic, Biblical-sounding Gettysburg Address is still treasured by the masses of Lincoln cultists, but it is still, after 148 years, a big fat lie
by Larry Simons
November 21, 2011
This past Saturday, November 19, marked the 148th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s 272-word “masterpiece”, the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln gave the address at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. Many still regard this to be one of the greatest speeches in American history and many hold it as sacred as Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech or the four gospels. What they do not realize is, it is packed with several flat out lies.
What many also do not realize is, the speech was criticized by several sources at the time, including the Chicago Times, who wrote, “The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States”. They also stated, “But aside from the ignorant rudeness manifest in the President’s exhibition of Dawdleism at Gettysburg,--and which was an insult at least to the memories of a part of the dead, whom he was there professedly to honor,--in its misstatement of the cause for which they died, it was a perversion of history so flagrant that the most extended charity cannot regard it as otherwise than willful”.
H.L. Mencken had this to say about the Gettysburg Address:
“The Gettysburg speech was at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history...the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous. But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination – that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. 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.”
Let us examine each section, starting with the first untruth of the Address: the first six words of it.
“Four score and seven years ago”
[four score and seven years ago was 1776, from 1863, meaning that Lincoln is suggesting that the birth of America was 1776. 13 colonies declared their independence from King George III in 1776, but our country was created by the Constitution in 1787. So, Lincoln, if speaking correctly, should have stated, “Three score and 16 years ago”]
“our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation”
[the Founding Fathers did not create a “nation”, but a confederation of states. The founders did not create a consolidated national government, but a compact among sovereign states. As historian Carl Degler of Stanford University once explained, “The Civil War . . . was not a struggle to save a failed union, but to create a nation that until then had not come into being.”]
“conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
[It is interesting that Lincoln here is adopting the Jeffersonian concept of “all men are created equal”, when in reality Lincoln strongly opposed Jefferson and his states rights and decentralization of government stances. Quite odd that Lincoln would both quote Jefferson [who he opposed] and pen the Gettysburg Address in a Scripture-esque manner [when he was practically an atheist] when he was strongly against the teachings of both Jefferson and the Bible. Lincoln did not believe in the equality of the races. He was a staunch advocate of colonization and wanted all blacks deported to Liberia.
It is highly possible that the Gettysburg Address, as was the Emancipation Proclamation [although more of a war measure issued to prevent foreign countries from joining forces with the South to defeat the North], a political tool used for the upcoming election of 1864. After all, Lincoln did not think he had much of a chance of getting re-elected. Hardly a coincidence that the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address were issued the same year, 1863, when campaigning for the upcoming election would normally begin]
“Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .”
[Another lie. The definition to a civil war is when two different factions are fighting for control of the same central government. Jefferson Davis wanted nothing to do with the control over Lincoln’s government. Robert E. Lee never wanted to conquer anything. Lincoln sent his armies to invade the South in order to prevent southern independence]
“testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.”
[Southern secession and independence would not have stopped the endurance of the federal government or the Union. In fact, the Union would have truly been saved if Lincoln had allowed peaceful secession. The South was in no way attempting to END the government in Washington D.C., but simply separate from it, which the Constitution permits.
It was, in fact, the SOUTH that understood the words of the founders. They were the ones attempting to separate from a government that was stripping them of their rights. Jefferson laid out in the Declaration very clear that “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Lincoln either had no clue what Jefferson meant, or he did all too well and feared these words, therefore, not being able to let these principles endure. Lincoln was not trying to stop one nation from being torn apart, he was trying to create a new one, one in which the teachings of Jefferson did not exist. Lincoln succeeded]
“We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.”
[Permitting secession would not have threatened the life of the country. The only thing that would kill America is exactly what Lincoln did; eviscerate states rights and create a centralized, monotheistic government. Lincoln killed America, not the southerners]
“that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth”
[Lincoln was right. The nation did have a “new birth”, but not of freedom, and surely not a nation in which its government is “of the people, by the people and for the people”. That country died in 1865. The new nation we have been living in for the past 146 years is the very nation or form of government in which the founders instructed is our “duty” to throw off and to form anew. Ironic, that is what the South attempted to do, but Lincoln stopped them at gunpoint]
The Gettysburg Address will long be cherished and adored by the same number of those who worship Lincoln as if he was the 13th disciple of Jesus. But it will also long stand as a colossal lie to those of us who truly understand our founding documents and true meaning of constitutional liberty. Lincoln needed things like the Gettysburg Address to divert attention away from his dictatorial actions.
Perhaps nobody knows the facts of the real, tyrannical Abraham Lincoln than the people of the South. It is time for the rest of this country to wake up and stop praising this man and his lie-riddled speeches.