Polemics & Exchanges

On Lincolnolatry

Joseph E. Fallon’s thesis (“Lincoln and the Death of the Old Republic,” Vital Signs, August) that the Lincoln administration destroyed the Old Republic of the Founding Fathers and replaced it with the ideological foundations of today’s welfare state is unassailable.  Indeed, this result is celebrated by such left-wing legal scholars as George P. Fletcher, author of Our Secret Constitution: How Lincoln Remade America.  Fletcher believes that the goals of “egalitarianism” reflect what he calls a “higher law” than the Constitution itself.  “Lincoln’s casual attitude toward formal constitutional institutions such as the writ of habeas corpus” is to be applauded, says Fletcher, for it paved the way for the effective overthrow of the constitutional limitations on governmental power that once existed.

Of course, Lincoln had more than a “casual attitude” toward the Constitution; his actions prove that he had absolute contempt for it, as Fallon demonstrates.

If the “official history” of Abraham Lincoln is a lie, as Fallon says, then who are the official liars?  It is the Lincoln cult, the industry of court historians who have, for more than a century, deceived the American public about the real Lincoln.  The Lincoln...

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