Saturday, February 12, 2005

Honest Abe's B-day

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On this date in 1809, Abraham Lincoln entered the world. To pay tribute to a man that so many admire, let us rekindle some of his thoughts on various important matters of his time:

His unbridled love of individual liberty:
"I reiterate that the majority should rule."

His dedication to free market principles:
"I... would continue (trade) where it is necessary, and discontinue it, where it is not. As instance: I would continue commerce so far as it is employed in bringing us coffee, and I would discontinue it so far as it is employed in bringing us cotton goods."

His response to the notion of opposing corporate welfare:
"If I do that, what would become of my revenue? I might as well shut up housekeeping at once!"

His enlightened love and respect for blacks:
"I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races.... I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position."

"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything. "

His solid dedication toward abolishing slavery:
" nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you... I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that 'I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.' "

"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."

His consistent defense of states' rights:
In 1848:
"Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right, a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit. More than this, a majority of any portion of such people may revolutionize, putting down a minority, intermingled with, or near about them, who may oppose their movements."

In 1856:
"The Union, in any event, won't be dissolved. We don't want to dissolve it, and if you attempt it, we won't let you. With the purse and sword, the army and navy and treasury in our hands and at our command, you couldn't do it.... We do not want to dissolve the Union; you shall not."

His stalwart defense of free speech, free press, and the writ of habeas corpus:
"You will take possession by military force, of the printing establishments of the New York World and Journal of Commerce... and prohibit any further publication thereof... you are therefore commanded forthwith to arrest and imprison in any fort or military prison in your command, the editors, proprietors and publishers of the aforesaid newspapers... and you will hold the persons so arrested in close custody until they can be brought to trial before a military commission."

Hey, wait a minute... why in the world do so many people admire this thug? It must be a side effect of taking the blue pill.

Some of the people who may object to my b-day tribute to Abe may happen to reside on the left side of the political spectrum. If that's the case, here's some food for thought: the following picture represents, to me, the Abe Lincoln of the 21st century.

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To learn why I make such a claim, I suggest reading the following essays about Lincoln:

Abraham Dubya Bush
Why The Republican Party Elected Lincoln

Before I sign off for now, Wally Conger's own birthday tribute to Abe has brought to my attention a fine birthday message for Lincoln by Karen De Coster. It is called Beheading the "Great Messiah", and I recommend checking that out as well. It's the least you can do, since it is Abe's b-day, ya know.


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