Steven Spielberg´s "Lincoln" has been a box-office hit and nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including best picture, best director and best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, who portrayed our 16th president. I haven´t seen the movie; therefore, this column is not about the movie but about a man deified by many. (snip) In an 1858 letter, Lincoln said, "I have declared a thousand times, and now repeat that, in my opinion neither the General Government, nor any other power outside of the slave states, can constitutionally or rightfully interfere with slaves or slavery where it already exists."
I haven´t seen the movie either. I don´t how (or why) people sit through such pop culture offerings.
The facts about Lincoln´s position on slavery and "the negro question" are well documented and not in dispute among those familiar with them.
1. Lincoln was an old-style Henry Clay Whig who never wavered in his conviction that slavery was morally wrong; 2. He was not an Abolitionist; 3. He believed slavery was doomed and would die a natural death if left alone; 4. He did not regard blacks as the intellectual equals of whites and did not think the races could live harmoniously together when blacks were free; 5. He struggled mightily to promote compensated emancipation and voluntary colonization of freed blacks; 6. The Emancipation Proclamation was a war time measure that also was the result of increasing pressure by Northern radicals and Abolitionists who were pressing ahead with Congressional confiscation acts with or without Lincoln´s blessings.
Naturally the complexity of the Civil War, North-South politics, slavery, Abolitionism etc. have been reduced to comic book cut outs for popular entertainment and public consumption.
Current fads prevail. I read somewhere that Mary Lincoln, who was detested by almost everyone who dealt with her, and who became manifestly insane after Lincoln´s death, is represented in the movie as a valiant heroine of some sort.
I haven´t see this movie. I have hesitated because I learned it was written by Tony Kushner, a gay playwright who wrote the truly awful play, Angels in America. I´d be interested in the take of those who have seen it.
Lincoln acted out of political expediency with no thought as to the eventual consequences. He freed the slaves, if the North won the war. As it turned out, the North did eventually win, and the slaves were free. Free to do what? That´s where Lincoln failed so miserably. Had he lived he might have figured something out, but he never took into account that he might not live long enough to do something. Like any politician he thought he was invincible and immortal. He died and the slaves were left with nothing to do. Some made it, most never really did, and their offspring are in even worse shape today.
One of America´s "Giants of The 19th Century," and the Republican POTUS multitudes, throughout America and world, feel is our nation´s "Greatest of All-Time," in a "nutshell."
-Lost job 1832 -Defeated for Legislative 1832 -Failed in business 1833 -Elected to Legislative 1834 -Sweetheart died 1835 -Had nervous breakdown 1836 -Defeated for Speaker 1838 -Defeated for nomination for Congress 1843 -Elected to Congress 1846 -Lost renomination 1848 -Rejected for land officer 1849 -Defeated for Senate 1854 -Defeated for nomination for Vice-President 1856 -Again defeated for Senate 1858 -Elected PRESIDENT 1860
The recent Lincoln-adoration craze is being fueled by the Obamaites, whose own idol claims legitimacy as the successor of Lincoln. Well, Mr. President, you are no Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln was not a traitor to his country nor its ideals. His attitude toward slavery was a moral choice tempered by pragmatism. And while he may have been driven, in part, by personal ambition, he nevertheless was not a godless dictator wannabe, like you.
What does Obama have in common with Lincoln? That both lived in Illinois for a time (but were not born there)? Obama can´t even claim any heritage from Lincoln´s presidency. He isn´t descended from slaves. Not all black people were enslaved in the US--only those bought from African slave traders, and their descendants. His Kenyan ancestors--from East Africa, nowhere near the slave trading region, would not have been slaves, even if they had lived in the US. Lincoln dealt with a divided country--North vs. South. Obama has created a divided country--black vs. white, rich vs. everyone else, women vs. white men, Democrats vs. Republicans, gays vs. Christians, the government vs. Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.
"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is probably more factually accurate then Spielberg´s "Lincoln".
I don´t know about this Fallon guy who´s mentioned in the article, but I do know that Thomas DiLorenzo´s work regarding Lincoln has been largely discredited, as it is full of misquotes, false statements, misrepresentations, and omissions.
The Lincoln haters are pretty strange if you ask me. I imagine they´re mostly jealous Democrats, Southerners who still have an ax to grind, or over-the-top Libertarians who don´t know history.
I love Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. Love. Them. And thanks to Mr. W. for highlighting this:
The Emancipation Proclamation was not a universal declaration. It detailed where slaves were freed, only in those states "in rebellion against the United States." Slaves remained slaves in states not in rebellion — such as Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware.
Speaking as someone who actually saw the movie, I thought it was history as a writer with liberal 21st Century sensibilities would write it. That being said, Daniel Day-Lewis deserves the Oscar for his acting. I expect that the film will receive many awards because Obama´s people are trying to portray him as Lincoln II and to hype the movie is to exalt Obama´s hyper-inflated evaluation of himself.
Thank you #11. I was going to say the same thing. It pains me to see Williams, whom I greatly admire, believe the revisionist junk of the discredited Di Lorenzo. Lincoln had his faults as we all do, but a lot of the junk that´s being floated around lately is just revisionist lies and a lot was taken out of context. I don´t care how accurate the movie is. It´s Hollywood. I also don´t care if Obama aligns himself with Lincoln. He did the same with Reagan. It doesn´t change history. Finally, there are no proven differences in intellect based on race. We are individuals...both dumb & smart. When comparing blacks in the U.S. & S. Africa, remember that both kept blacks down & ignorant for most of history. The Dems are especially to blame (slavery, segreggation, KKK, etc.) and, even after the Civil Rights Act, the Dems intentionally destroyed inner city schools to keep people uneducated. Still, how many whites compare with Thomas Sowell, Dr. Ben Carson, Condi Rice & Justice Clarence Thomas?
#8, it wasn´t Lincoln´s war. The South started it. Not only did they want to pull out of the union because they wanted to keep slavery, but they fired upon Fort Sumter and killed a lot of people. It was actually the war of Southern Aggression.
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