Skip to main content

View Diary: I Saw "Lincoln" And Wept (297 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  hmm (13+ / 0-)

    You're kind of being reductive there. He was obviously against slavery (see the debates he had with Douglas during his campaign). The Republican party, hard as it might be to believe now, was founded as a "Free Soil" party.

    Lincoln was a pragmatist above all, and his views were shaped by changing circumstances. He wanted to preserve the union, and yes, he wanted the northern industrial model preserved-- notice it used paid laborers, not slaves, and of course -- as in the British abolition movement-- there were many rather cynical arguments about how the only way to preserve labor was to abolish slavery. But that's true. And the idea that we should be paid for our labor is not just a principal argument against slavery but the absolute foundation of the labor movement.

    Lincoln was a man of his times, of course. His understanding of race and equality reflected that. But would slavery  have been abolished without him? Without his sometimes cynical, sometimes idealistic, always-results-oriented leadership?

    The diminishment of Lincoln's complexity and ability to change seems to be something beyond mere revisionism lately. Of course he wasn't perfect. So? Who is? He was, however, magnificent, tragic, momentous. And American. We can revere him without regret. Would that we had a hundred more like him, then and now.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site