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Happy Real Presidents’ Day!
Happy Birthday, Mr. President! As the first and greatest U.S. president, George Washington established the shining city on the hill (over the Potomac), although not the one originally envisioned by delusional John Winthrop and co-opted by Ronald Reagan. Besides, if Washington hadn’t soundly defeated the British, we would all be forced to speak English only! And no righteous American would stand for that, unless Mr. Rhodes forced him to take classes at Oxford.
I wonder how people, especially the kids who think 4 gigabytes of RAM is an American birthright, became aware of the new “holiday,” celebrated yesterday. Did they learn of it while enrolled in their local underfunded school or from the avalanche of advertising beckoning Americans to do what they do best; buy imported junk they don’t need, so other nations can succeed. And, does it even matter? Once Washington’s good name was besmirched by WAMU and John McCain’s buddy, Charlie Keating used Lincoln Savings and Loan to create a financial crises in the late ‘80’s, do people still trust the branding of Washington and Lincoln?
Did you check out the Presidents’ Day ads in your local newspaper? Did you have fun? Did you take the time to read any of the accolades flowing from columns across America during the past week celebrating our heritage? Of course, most are superficial and nothing more than a Tony Robbins feel-good production. But, Americans want to feel good, especially about their heroes.
However, there is one exception to the trite, banal essays published yesterday. It is by a man I admire, actor Richard Dreyfuss, and published in the NY Daily News. In fact, due to his avid promotion of civics, he was asked to speak at the Gettysburg theme park in 2009. He takes issue with massing the reverence for Washington and Lincoln with all of the others. He doesn’t mention the retail sales events or the profitable corporate tie-ins or the convenience of providing a once-a-month Monday holiday, ever so popular with popular culture.
Regardless, he makes many fine points about keeping the presidential honorariums separate and focused on them as individuals. He likes Abraham Lincoln best and states his reasons quite effectively. I agree with keeping the memory of the presidents separate. But, I can not concur with his admiration of Mr. Lincoln, or the delusion and ugliness of Manifest Destiny, and Lincoln’s cry for recognition of American exceptionalism.
I take exception to that view of Lincoln, even though I was born in Illinois and have chopped wood for the family fireplace as a youth. My father had a civil war room with an authentic rifle, a couch, and a bookshelf full of books by Bruce Catton and hundreds more. Yet, I am appalled that thinking people of today would admire the 16th president for any reason. I think based on the tangible, forensic evidence, he is in fact our WORST president.
I take issue with the majority of American’s and their misguided obsession with the cult of Abraham Lincoln, the most depressed and depressing president in our brief history. He was an abject failure as president based on numbers, reason, and results, despite what the ever-glamorous Doris Kearns Goodwin might think. Thanks to her and other hysterical historians from the winning side, the vast majority of the population just accepts Lincoln being one of the “greats ones” without question. In reality, Jackie Gleason and Wayne Gretzky, he is not.
When it comes to written tomes about historical figures, Mr. Lincoln is second only to the sandaled magician, Jesus. One needn’t look far in their own locale to find a street or school named after him. From Mount Rushmore to his monument in the nation’s capitol, his public image is used to shill everything from bank accounts to movies. He is even kept alive as a talking dummy at Disneyland. Indeed, Abe Lincoln remains the most popular. American president
When I ask most citizens why Lincoln is regarded a great man, they mention that he freed the slaves. When pointed out that this myth is erroneous, they don’t have much to say. One esteemed newsman for NBC quoted Lincoln, “A house divided…” Of course, when I pointed out that Lincoln is the man who divided it, I was met with a frown. When asked what advantages Americans have enjoyed due to our forced marriage to the Confederates, few can name one, if any.
Mason-Dixon drew a line for a reason. Even the flora and fauna are completely different on the north and south sides of the Ohio River. The human cultures were vastly different hundreds of years before the Civil War and remain so today. You can hear the whistle of unrepentant Dixie every time the constipated Senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, opens his mouth. But, we are told by the mainstream media that what American’s want is cooperation and bi-partisanship.
Coincidently, the same common attitude toward acceptance of “our” destiny, requiring the union of all the states, was in the main at the onset of the Civil War. Lincoln’s failure to even consider the Crittenden Compromise, penned by another McConnell-like boy from Kentucky, led to deeper secessionist fervor. This escalated the efforts of interested parties to organize the so-called Peace Conference of 1861 (150 years ago this month). The white-haired white pols in attendance, like today’s ruling elite, concentrated on compromise (“non-partisanship”). It ended in failure and resolved nothing. Apparently no one discussed an amicable divorce. Common groupthink.
Abe the Axeman certainly lacked any visionary thoughts. A man who once separated wood for a living, he had no such talent when it came to cultures. Blinded with ambition, this toxic politician took an axe to the Constitution and took the Confederates to the woodshed. We have all suffered his lack of leadership and vision to this day. The Confederates have risen, as promised, and they are reeking their revenge on the rest of America. One need not look too far to see the continued, widespread waving of the Confederate flag. Alabama partied just days ago. Texas Governor, Rick Perry, calls for a modern secession. Alabama Senator Jeff dreams of an act changing his last name to SeCessions. (Sounds French, non?)
Incredibly, to me, many scholars in the modern era still consider Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address to be the finest speech ever written (including potential Oscar winner, “The King’s Speech” or even Martin Luther King’s, “I Have a Dream” speech). Contrary to that analysis, while not quibbling with the speech’s level of fame, similar to Paris Hilton’s style over substance, I am not moved by the manipulative dishonesty contained within.
Let’s take a two minute review of the speech some readers may have learnt by rote at their local madrassa:
The Gettysburg Address
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. 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. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — 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”.
[Now, let’s look at what his oration might have revealed, if Abe were truly honest]:
The True Gettysburg Address
Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all people, except women, niggers, natives, and indentured servants, are born with equal opportunity.
Now, we are engaged in an unnecessary, idiotic uncivil (aren’t they all) war, by my doing, due to my overly inflated ambition, wanting to preside over ALL the states and not just the American States. I failed to recognize the current Confederacy, as well as other states and territories wishing to use slavery, have always been and will always be a separate nation. After this adolescent endeavor, we will be fortunate if any union of states remains.
We are met on ruined farmland, despoiled by death, and despite my best effort to kill everyone. One of the glorious inventions put to use in this festival of fatalities is the land mine. We are here to praise such innovation and hereby pass it on to future generations to share with the world so that children everywhere can enjoy frolicking in fallow fields of fruition… forever! These poor slobs, whether conscripted, bribed, coerced, or just plain emotionally unstable, who met their demise in this valley of death, under my “leadership” can only be further desecrated by our presence. The world (god, but my ego is huge) will too long remember this futile fiasco and be tortured by the continuation of the war paradigm and promotion of these phony “heroes” for other docile, indoctrinated individuals to emulate in the future, perpetuating this corruption ad nauseam. It is for the few of us living to continue this foolish plan to its failed end.
It is amazing that the human spirit endured past this catastrophe and many more to come. How much longer can this government of the people, by the people, and for the people exist before it implodes from its own unbridled ambition.
First Republican President – First Homosexual President – Delusional Deist – Victim of insecurity due to Marfan syndrome, physical ugliness, and class at birth – Married neurotic lunatic – Suspended Habeas Corpus and perpetrated many other un-American acts upon the citizens of the U.S. using the old, “Ends Justify the Means” tactic, usurping the Constitution and ruling the nation by a man (him) rather than by laws. – Killed & maimed more Americans than any other president in history – Set the stage for full government corruption, carpetbaggers lobbyists, etal – Nominated Stephen J. Field to the Supreme Court who went on to ensure the 14th amendment treated corporations as persons. Oh, and as a by-product of the industrial ruin that he encouraged, the slaves were loosed, sort of…
Sadly, another misguided Senator from the corrupt state of Illinois, our current president, Barack Obama, likes to think of himself as a modern day Lincoln. President of ALL the states. Even the Confederate states, therefore sanctifying and endorsing Lincoln’s folly. I say, stand up and be your own man, Mr. Obama. Release our Confederate brothers from the chains of slavery that bind them to American principles.
In freeing them, you will free real Americans to re-create a great society, a decent society, a civil society. Please do what John Wilkes Booth failed to do. Put a bullet in the head of Lincoln’s failed legacy once and for all. Let us begin again, two separate nations, as God and nature intended.
Copyright 2011 by T R Black
Mr. Black is a mediator resolving complicated conflicts where war is not an option. He is currently working on his book, Lincoln’s Folly: One Nation Under God.