Hitler and the Anniversary of Lincoln’s Assassination

It has been some time, obviously, since I’ve posted anything. Busy, to be sure, but also overwhelmed by events.

At any rate, today is the anniversary of the day John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln and what does the nation talk about? Comparisons of the sixteenth president to Adolf Hitler.

This of course is standard fare for Lincoln loathers (see chapter 5 in my book), but nevertheless depressing to see. As I wrote about the idea of Lincoln as a dictator or tyrant, “Dictators may hold elections, but they do not worry much about losing them, as Lincoln believed he would in August 1864, when the Union’s military fortunes were at low ebb. Nor do tyrants tolerate the type of vitriol and hatred that was leveled against the president throughout the war. Without question Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus remains rightly controversial, and his sometimes heavy-handed suppression of political opposition was unprecedented” (page 321). “Nevertheless, the situation Lincoln faced as president was unprecedented, as Lincoln himself acknowledged: ‘I can be no more persuaded that the government can constitutionally take no strong measure in time of rebellion, because it can be shown that the same could not be lawfully taken in time of peace, than I can be persuaded that a particular drug is not good medicine for a sick man, because it can be shown to not be good food for a well one.'”

I suppose when it comes to hatred for the sixteenth president, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”