Why Americans Don’t ‘Celebrate’ Lincoln

Neocon Lincoln cultist Walter Berns claims in the Wall Street Journal that “Americans Celebrate Lincoln.” Really? When’s the last time you and your friends said: “Hey, it’s February 12, bring out the champagne! Let’s celebrate! Party! Party! Party!??

In reality, Americans pay more attention each February to whether or not The Groundhog has seen his shadow than they do to yet another Lincoln’s birthday. And they certainly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, a month later, much more than they do Lincoln’s birthday.

It is the state and its court historians, like Walter Berns, who “celebrate” Lincoln, for Lincoln is the face of the American empire. The purpose of his deification, on grotesque display in recent weeks, is to indoctrinate the public in the idea that whatever the American empire does is moral and right — just like “Father Abraham,” as the Claremontistas call him.In his book Making Patriots, for example, Berns urges that all school children be indoctrinated in Lincoln’s political rhetoric (“our national poet,” he says) so that they can be more easily duped in joining the military NOT to defend their own country, but for whatever non-defensive military adventures AEI neocons like Berns happen to be fantasizing about at the moment.

As is typical of all Lincoln cultists, Berns is grossly misleading at times. He criticizes Judge Roger B. Taney for stating that slavery was (in his opinion) constitutional while contrasting Dishonest Abe’s flowery rhetoric. One piece of Lincolnian rhetoric that he leaves out, however, is Lincoln’s statement in his first inaugural address that slavery was, in his opinion, already constitutional, and that he had “no objection to making it express and irrevocable” by explicitly writing it into the document. He agreed completely with Judge Taney, in other words, a fact that Berns seems oblivious to.


9:01 am on February 18, 2009