Abraham Lincoln: Our Worst President? Political Badger Interviews Tom DiLorenzo

Posted: September 17, 2014 in Podcast
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Today I had a really interesting interview with Tom DiLorenzo on Abraham Lincoln. Tom’s fine work on Lincoln has clearly demonstrated that he was not at all the great champion of freedom we learned about in school. In today’s conversation we learn the facts about the man which prove nothing could be further from the truth.

DiLorenzo on lewrockwell.com

DiLorenzo on Amazon

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  1. […] DiLorenzo is interviewed on The Political Badger on the topic of Abraham Lincoln. (Audio, 27 […]

  2. […] DiLorenzo is interviewed on The Political Badger on the subject of Abraham Lincoln. (Audio, 27 […]

  3. I’ve read “The Real Lincoln.” Setting aside its sloppy scholarship, as a work of history it is horrible. It is a mere polemic with events pulled completely out of context. But hey, he’s making major coin off of the marks and flats who believe this stuff, so who cares about historical accuracy? And, he gets to push his ideology.

    Some people will believe whatever it is they want to believe, regardless of reality.

  4. I thought you’d never ask.

    To just briefly touch on one thing, just to start: DiLorenzo loves ridiculous straw men. For example, on page 32, he writes: “The foregoing discussion calls into question the standard account that Northerners elected Lincoln in a fit of moral outrage spawned by their deep-seated concern for the welfare of black slaves in the deep South.” Not only is this not true—Northerners elected a Republican because they were tired of acquiescing to the “slave power”—it is not even the “standard account” of history offered by scholars. (Notice how DiLorenzo offers no names of historians who argue this so-called “standard account.”) DiLorenzo sets up a straw man to knock down, because no serious scholar I’m aware of believes this or argues this.

    The issue Republicans pushed in the election of 1860 was slavery’s expansion in the territories. Period. Not abolition, not any sort of concern for slaves in the Deep South, nor any other state where it existed. The Republican platform stated as much, and Lincoln and no other Republican politician claimed anything else. Only Abolitionists were concerned about slaves in the slave states, but they never numbered enough to sway the party to that position.

    DiLorenzo goes on to say “[G]iven the attitudes of most Northerners toward blacks, it is doubtful that their abhorrence of slavery was sufficient motivation for hundreds of thousands of them to give their lives on bloody battlefields, as they did during the war.” (p. 32) This assumes erroneously that Lincoln and the North started the war over slavery. They did not. Lincoln and the North began the war because they believed that secession was unconstitutional, and that the Confederacy was destroying popular government. Emancipation only became a reason to fight after the war had dragged on for a painful year, when Lincoln realized that slavery must be destroyed if the nation were to survive. And when he announced this—and while it was indeed unpopular—he managed to convince most Americans that making the war about Union AND human liberty was a good thing. Somehow, this sequence of events DiLorenzo misses totally. Again and again.

    This is only one issue. To take apart every single out-of-context argument he makes in his lame (yet lucrative) polemic will take more time than I have on a Friday night. (The American League Championship Series is on, after all!) But, if you like, I would LOVE to give you a half-dozen more examples of his perfidy.

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