Love America? Then celebrate Lincoln

2/12/2010

Today marks the 201st birthday of our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. On his 200th birthday, cartoonist Ben Sargent of the Austin Statesman published a remarkable drawing showing a young person with Uncle Sam standing before the U.S. Constitution saying, "55 men wrote it; one man kept it whole."

Without Abraham Lincoln, there would be no United States of America. The ideal of a republic born during the American Revolution would now be dead, and there would have been rejoicing in the palaces of the major monarchies of Europe.

African-Americans would have remained in slavery for many generations to come.

And Lincoln did keep the nation whole. Neo-Confederate apologists will state that there is no provision for permanent statehood in the Union under the Constitution. But it is implied.

And there are provisions for the election of the national leadership, which Lincoln won in accordance with our Constitution.

In 1860, the Southern slavocracy–which had profited from the three-fifths clause of the Constitution to retain greater power in the Congress than they would otherwise have had–determined that since the election did not go their way, they would take their ball and go home.

Had they been allowed to do this, the country would have fragmented even more once the precedent was set.

There is not enough space in a letter to the editor to cover all the misinformation and outright nonsense in a letter published a month ago based on a spurious book by the economist (not historian), and member of the League of the South, Thomas DiLorenzo, on Lincoln’s alleged misdeeds

["Today’s tyranny started with Abraham Lincoln," Jan. 14].

It is enough to say that nearly all serious historians and students of this great land place Mr. Lincoln as our greatest statesman and leader and savior of the republic.

And not just our country: British Prime Minister Lloyd George kept a portrait of Abraham Lincoln in his study.

The American republic and its principles, as enshrined in such documents as the Declaration of Independence, have long been a beacon to the world.

Without Abraham Lincoln, this light would have gone out.

Robert Roser
Stafford