Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Abraham Lincoln - Superhero Anti-Royalist

There is a movie out in theaters now called Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter.  I haven’t seen this film (and don’t plan to) but it is being billed as presenting a secret life of our greatest president, and an untold story involving vampires that supposedly shaped our nation.

I admire Abraham Lincoln. He was born in a one-room log cabin on a farm in Kentucky.   His father Thomas Lincoln and mother Nancy Hanks Lincoln were very poor and uneducated farmers.  Abraham’s mother died when he was child and he used to help his father in farming as a manual labor.

In his youth, he had less than 12 months in total education and as a young man, he was entirely self taught in law. In 1836, he was licensed to practice law, become a very successful attorney with his own large law practice, prior to becoming President; yet, he had no apprenticeship training, and never attended college. 

Yet Abraham Lincoln became our greatest President.  He preserved the union and freed the slaves. Despite the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, he fulfilled the promise of the Constitution to millions more. And more than any other president, Lincoln reminds us that we can rise above our differences and respond to the “better angels of our nature,” as he once said.

That is good enough for me to admire Abraham Lincoln. I don’t need to see any film that tries to portray him as superhero vampire hunter. 

But come to think of it, Abraham Lincoln did speak out against another group of evil blood sucking parasites – royalists.

Lincoln applied the principles of America’s founders by comparing the evil of monarchy to that of slavery. Referring to the arguments circulating in support of the supposed justice of slavery, Lincoln held in his famous speech of July 10, 1858:

They are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world. You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden. That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge [i.e., Stephen Douglas] is the same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it. Turn in whatever way you will—whether it come from the mouth of a King, an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent …

Slavery and king-craft:  “[I]t is all the same old serpent[.]”  Thank you, Mr. Lincoln. 

May we borrow that ax of yours to deal with some certain serpents?

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