In my previous post, I wrote about a talk that I had recently given about Lincoln. I had not expected it to be terribly controversial – in fact, I wondered whether it was such common knowledge that it was not worth reporting.
But there is something about Lincoln that leads people to react in extreme ways.
Let me start with the long criticism by the first commenter, which is then endorsed by the second commenter. The comment goes on and on, in an extremely intemperate way. The principal complaint appears to be that I took Lincoln at his word and did not conclude that he repeatedly lied to the American people about his views on slavery. For this, I am accused of somehow not respecting Lincoln. I would think if I had accused him of lying, without any foundation, that I would be open to criticism. But apparently the opposite is the case.
The funny thing is that my post did not suggest that Lincoln personally approved of slavery or would not have liked to have eliminated it more quickly. Quite the contrary. As I said, “in Lincoln’s defense, he believed that any stronger position would have been rejected by the American people and therefore this was the best that could be accomplished for the slaves.”