I recently read a blog that I thought raised a good point. The writer was discussing Americans’ habit of equating any presidents they don’t like to Hitler. I agreed with his overall point that it is greatly overdone. We should not so lightly use the reference to such a sociopathic dictator.
I was even impressed when discussing our presidents, past and present, he brought up one that few like pointing a finger at. This president rigged an election by allowing a state into the Union that didn’t qualify to give him the numbers he needed. He imprisoned political opponents against their constitutional rights. He caused the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans. These are just the points I can remember that he brought up about Abraham Lincoln.
Then the writer lost me. He followed up this information with that Lincoln was still seen as good because “we” understood his just vision. Excuse me? The man could have prevented a bloody war and didn’t, but that’s okay because America recovered? He ignored the unlawful injustices against those in the South and in turn inflicted his own, but he was still a great president? The man wasn’t a great leader and even his biggest supposed accomplishment (abolishing slavery) was a lie because he didn’t abolish it. While I don’t think calling a president Lincoln is as bad as Hitler, I would call it far from a compliment.
Anyway, this is yet another time I will have to agree to disagree with someone about Lincoln and I’m sure it won’t be the last. We can’t change the past by arguing over it, but we can learn from it. If we are going to learn from it, we should double check how accurate our knowledge of it is. And as for constantly referring to our presidents as Hitler, remember that some things are self fulfilling prophecies.…