Abraham Lincoln was long ago turned into a cheap plastic dashboard American saint, “The Great Emancipator.” It’s a wonder that you don’t see people driving around with literal plastic Abes on their dashboards.
For my part, folks such as myself have gotten great grief for suggesting otherwise. Thus, I take am pleased to note some similar sentiments being expressed by Illinois Senator Barack Obama in a Time magazine essay, the new golden wonder of the Democrat Party:
“I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator,” Obama said. “As a law professor and civil rights lawyer and as an African-American, I am fully aware of his limited views on race. Anyone who actually reads the Emancipation Proclamation knows it was more a military document than a clarion call for justice.”
It has been my expressed opinion that Lincoln was a mere opportunistic political hack with delusions of grandeur. Moreover, his conduct in office looks to me like the work of a brutal fascist.
Now, Mr Obama certainly takes a far more positive outlook on Lincoln than I do. That’d be a pretty low bar. Yet even this good liberal black Democrat who describes Lincoln as our “greatest president” can’t quite talk himself into believing the Great Emancipator foolishness.
Indeed, even during the war, as late as August of 1862, in a famous letter to newspaper editor Horace Greely, Lincoln said:
My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.
Add to this the clever lawyerly wording of the Emancipation Proclamation as noted in Obama’s quote above. It was carefully worded so as to apply only to the Confederate states- but not the Union states which still allowed slavery. Thus Obama’s observation that it was NOT “a clarion call for justice.”
This should not be taken as any endorsement of the Confederacy, which Rand knows was no great beacon of liberty. The sins of the South do not, however, mean that Lincoln was not a dirtbag.
I’m just saying.Powered by Sidelines