History's Revisionism

Lincoln Memorial

"History is written by the Victors" so said Winston Churchill. So too says Mark Potok, revisionist for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery Alabama.  Potok is no stranger to those who are consistently trying to keep history dishonest.  If you want "both" sides of history, which is hardly ever taught, you have to seek out documentation which hasn't been "revised" to such an extent that it truly becomes a one sided expose.  Potok's claim to fame is "class warfare" in my opinion.  He loves to tell the half of history that stirs raw emotions in most readers who believe everything they were taught in public school approved history books.  These books are “politically correct” and are like those “half-truth” emails that are forwarded to all us and continue to get forwarded by so many who don't take the extra time to find out the "rest of the story."  

"The heritage of shame" article in the Xenia Gazette January 22, does just that.  Granted I don't know much about the Sons of Confederate Veterans nor do I know much about the Sons of Union Veterans, but the SoCV aren't really his main target in his article.  He simply is using them to make sure that the governments version (see Churchill's quote above) about the War Between the States and Civil Rights remains one-sided and that certain "groups" of people get put into the radical anti-government category.  I like how he peppers his article with “some” truths, but then turns around and says, It-the War, "really isn't about states rights, tariff disputes, locking up over 300 northern newspaper editors who disagreed with Lincolns position, or that the states were sovereign and granted only certain powers to the federal government."  Believe it or not, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions expounded on many of these areas in which Potok "forgets."  Thomas Woods who is a Senior Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and holds a Ph.D in History from Columbia University, recently wrote a best selling book entitled "Nullification, How To Resist Federal Tyranny In The 21st Century" where he exposes the hyprocrisy of the revisionist side. Woods explains, " the Principles of 98, as these decentralist ideas came to be know-were in fact resorted to more often by northern states than by southern, and from 1798 through the second half of the nineteenth century were used in support of free speech and free trade, and against the fugitive-slave laws, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and the prospect of military conscription, among other examples.

Nullification was employed not in support of slavery but against it."  King Lincoln, as many of us who know the truth about his character and presidency liketo refer to him as, is on record as defending "states rights and the tenth amendment" when he said, "Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better.  This is a most valuable and most sacred right, a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world."  Imagine that.  Must have been a Freudian slip out 16th President.  It a trend that continues to this day with politicians.  Potok was right that the war was devastating, yet many historians would argue avoidable.  

What about slavery?  Well Potok goes on to say "freeing the slaves may not have been Lincoln's original intent, but it became a major aim of the war."  An excellent tactical move as well.  Again, he is correct but this statement needs further explanation.  Anyone who is a "serious student of history" as Potok emphasized, can listen to King Lincoln himself.  Two days after the Senate proposed and passed the Thirteenth Amendment, the Great Emancipator himself said, "I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution (13th) has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service.  To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose, not to speak of particular amendments, so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable."  Eeks!  Did he say that?  Yup.  Even Lysander Spooner, the fiery Massachusettes abolitionist despised Lincoln's hypocrisy.  Spooner wrote that if slavery had been made more of a public issue in that it was unconstitutional, then eventually world opinion would have pressured southern leaders like Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee to work towards doing what the French, British, Dutch, Spanish and other slave owning societies had done in the nineteenth century and end the institution without killing over a million people.  A "serious student" of history investigates "all the facts."  Did you know Lee did not own any slaves?  Did you know that many Union Generals did?  When Lee's father-in-law died he inherited his plantation and immediately began freeing those slaves.  He also said, "There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil."  And furthermore let's not forget that Lincoln first offered command of the Union forces to Lee.  Darn those little facts. 

Revisionist's like Potok and many in government and all it's bureaucracies love telling boobus americanus only half of the story.  They are the “pickers and choosers” of what they want remembered and you can bet it's slanted toward the side of nationalism which today confused with patriotism.  Potok goes on to quote Alexander Stephens, the vice president of the Confederacy. Again, NO ONE IS ARGUING SLAVERY IS WRONG AND WAS ONE OF THE FACTORS OF THE WAR, but their was so much more to it.  King Lincoln can also be quoted in saying similarly to what Stephens said,  "I will say, then, that I am not nor have I ever been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the black and white races, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with White people, and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the White and black races which will ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.  And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the White race"-from the 4th Lincoln-Douglas debate, September 18th, 1858.  You can see why maybe many who know more than the government spoon-fed history are not fans of King Lincoln, especially when so much of his rhetoric is opposite of everything we believe in such as “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...”  

I could go on and on refuting Potoks half-truths but I believe he does a better job making himself look hypocritical than I could.  Those of us who understand the complexity of history and refuse to chew on just bullet points to make an informed opinion have a duty to set the record on equal merit.  As one individual who is on the side of natural rights for all and one who refuses to believe those rights come from government, I say wake up boobus, it time for you to “know the rest of the story.”

I would like to thank Lew Rockwell and the many contributors of the "King Lincoln Archive" for their part in setting the record straight.

"First they make fun of us..then they attack us..then we win"