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This 12th of February marks the 213th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. The 16th U.S. President ranks with historians, political scientists, and the American public in the top-notch of all 45 United States presidents. According to a YouGovAmerica national poll, the Great Emancipator tops the list with an 80% favorable approval rating (8 out of 10 persons asked). Wikipedia posts a collection of 23 different polls, done in different time periods, of both, scholarly and popular opinion variants. Analyzed comparatively, it is conclusive that Lincoln is “generally considered the greatest president.” How is it possible that the person most responsible with ending slavery by winning the Civil War is hated by Black Lives Matter (BLM)?
The toppling and vandalizing of Lincoln statues in Portland, Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago (among other places), were targets of the Marxist insurrection that began following George Floyd’s death in May 2020. BLM’s rage and that of their communist comrade-in-arms, Antifa, were ideological manifestations of hatred against, not just Lincoln, but the American republic itself. In that sense, the Great Emancipator does bear the greatest responsibility for saving the nation. The fury that the black Marxist militant group (BLM) has for Lincoln while perplexing upon a superficial focus of the movement, when Critical Race Theory (CRT), BLM’s guiding ideology is factored in, their un-American, liberticidal, ultra-left innateness is crystalized.
Lincoln considered it his mission to align the United States with its foundational creed. The South’s secession provided the opportunity. The issue of slavery, despite it mostly being regionally delegated, was a defect that morally stymied the Republic. George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin, all Founding Fathers, expressed opposition to the brutal institution. By 1804, all the northern states had abolished slavery. The African slave trade was outlawed by Congress in 1808. Though legally contained, it remained a fundamental principled inconsistency of America.
By invoking Natural Law in his stance against the evils of slavery, the first Republican president (Lincoln) was bringing the philosophical and epistemological principles of American exceptionalism in accord with history. Lincoln did not call for systemic changes. In fact, his intransigence against the South’s secession was precisely premised on preserving the Union. In other words, he sought to keep the system whole, but without the wicked element of bondage for one part of the population. Despite the need to go to war and seek an uncompromised victory, Lincoln’s insistence on preserving the Republic was gradualist.
The reform-based approach for remedying the past’s sins, was congruous with the methodology advocated and used by the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Martin Luther King echoed Lincoln’s underscoring of the inherent American truth of natural rights and the nation’s historical alignment. King, like Lincoln, never advocated a systemic overthrow. BLM’s objective, on the other hand, is antithetically opposed to both and does seek to revolutionary deconstruct the country.
The comprehensive dismantling of America that the Marxist movement is attempting to achieve would install a model that Lincoln detested. Socialism, it must be recalled, was having a surge among intellectual quarters around the Great Emancipator’s time. The First International was celebrated during Lincoln’s presidency. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Francois-Noel Babeuf, Claude-Henri Saint-Simon, Robert Owen, and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon were only some of the socialists that preceded the 16th president. The two-year Jacobin dictatorship in France, establishing the first de facto socialist state, had ended 66 years before Lincoln was elected president.
The delirious scheme that is socialism could not have been something that would have escaped Lincoln’s intellectual notice. America’s greatest president believed in capitalism, individual initiative, and the importance of accountability. BLM’s identity Marxism, which is what CRT is all about, is the exact opposite of what Lincoln embraced. Appeals to the virtues of hard work, an ethical disposition, and a resolute dependency on a transcendental order were all Lincolnian trademarks. These virtues also happen to be intrinsic components of Americanism.
Lincoln, it can be said, is perhaps the American Republic’s most formidable public figure symbol. Although he was not among that distinguished group that founded the nation, he remedied its greatest imperfection, set a course for national reconciliation, and firmly aligned her moral compass with practice. Considering the magnanimous role that providence afforded for Lincoln, it is only natural that seditious groups like BLM wish to tear down his statutes, falsify history, and attempt to demean his legacy. Who they really hate and are after is America.
Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.