District of Corruption
Is there anything new to say about Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln?
In my opinion, Lincoln is an excellent recruiting tool for Southern Nationalism. There are times when the movie almost seems like a Hollywood cartoon of the Southern Nationalist worldview.
Lincoln opens with a horrific battle scene. The White Republic has disintegrated. United States Colored Troops wearing the Union blue are bayoneting helpless Confederates. In the end of the scene, the film zooms in on a black soldier with his boot on the face of a drowning White Confederate soldier.
After the battle, Lincoln congratulates the superior black soldiers in person for slaying all the inept White Confederates. They pepper him with questions about the persistence of racism and segregation in the Union Army. Two White Union soldiers then give a rendition of the Gettysburg Address.
Right from the outset, I knew that I was going to be treated to another comic book version of Abraham Lincoln. There is no evidence that Lincoln ever personally met with U.S. Colored Troops on the battlefield or that he would have been serenaded with the Gettysburg Address which didn’t take on its present historical importance until the twentieth century.
The whole plot of the film revolves around an angelic Lincoln using his political skills – lying, dissembling, and bribery – to personally engineer the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment before the Confederacy can surrender and the ex-Confederates return to Congress and block the abolition of slavery.
In order to do this, Lincoln must convince conservative Republicans led by Francis Blair that he seeks peace with the Confederacy, temper the rhetoric of the Radical Republican wing led by Thaddeus Stevens, and win the support of twenty racist lame duck Democrats while keeping the Confederate peace commissioners at bay.
“It never happened according to the foremost authority on Lincoln among mainstream Lincoln scholars, Harvard University Professor David H. Donald, the recipient of several Pulitzer prizes for his historical writings, including a biography of Lincoln. David Donald is the preeminent Lincoln scholar of our time who began writing award-winning books on the subject in the early 1960s. On page 545 of his magnus opus, Lincoln, Donald notes that Lincoln did discuss the Thirteenth Amendment with two members of Congress – James M. Ashley of Ohio and James S. Rollins of Missouri. But if he used “means of persuading congressmen to vote for the Thirteeth Amendment,” the theme of the Spielberg movie, “his actions are not recorded. Conclusions about the President’s role rested on gossip . . .”
Moreover, there is not a shred of evidence that even one Democratic member of Congress changed his vote on the Thirteenth Amendment (which had previously been defeated) because of Lincoln’s actions. Donald documents that Lincoln was told that some New Jersey Democrats could possibly be persuaded to vote for the amendment “if he could persuade [Senator] Charles Sumner to drop a bill to regulate the Camden & Amboy [New Jersey] Railroad, but he declined to intervene“ (emphasis added). “One New Jersey Democrat,” writes David Donald, “well known as a lobbyist for the Camden & Amboy, who had voted against the amendment in July, did abstain in the final vote, but it cannot be proved that Lincoln influenced his change“ (emphasis added). Thus, according to the foremost authority on Lincoln, there is no evidence at all that Lincoln influenced even a single vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, in complete contradiction of the writings of the confessed plagiarist Doris Kearns-Goodwin and Steven Spielberg’s movie (See my review of Goodwin’s book, entitled “A Plagiarist’s Contribution to Lincoln Idolatry”).”
By the way, some people will be disappointed to learn the real Abraham Lincoln wasn’t a “vampire hunter” either.
In the Spielberg movie, Lincoln the atheist is bathed in light as church bells ring and Washington erupts in celebration after the House of Representatives passes the Thirteenth Amendment. Lincoln’s son Tad is a negrophile obsessed with glass negatives of slaves. This is also pure fiction.
The Confederates exist mostly as props in the background of this insufferable Judeo-Yankee morality tale: as piles of dead bodies, as bayoneted victims of righteous black soldiers, as peace commissioners intimidated by glowering black soldiers. The one exception is Vice President Alexander Stephens who is given a handful of lines toward the end of the movie.
In his confrontation with Lincoln, Alexander Stephens asks “how many hundreds of thousands have died during your administration” and “have you conquered us with ballots” and asserts “your democracy is held together by bayonets and cannonade.” Lincoln responds with another incomprehensible abstract digression into the true meaning of “democracy.”
The Yankees we encounter in Lincoln unwittingly conform to the traditional Southern stereotype: moralizing fanatics who use violence to force the real world to conform to their insane abstractions, corrupt party hacks gorging themselves at the trough of federal patronage, and negrophiles who will tolerate any evil so long as they can bask in the approval of smiling, helpless black people.
After Ulysses S. Grant informs Lincoln that he believes the Confederates genuinely want peace, Lincoln cites Euclid to demonstrate the existence of human equality (in reality, the Ancient Greeks enslaved their barbarian inferiors like the Confederates) and telegraphs a message to Grant to continue the war.
At the end of the movie, Thaddeus Stevens is shown taking the actual bill that abolished slavery home where he presents it as a gift to his black housekeeper before the crawls into bed with her. Earlier in his meeting with Lincoln, the same vindictive, bloodthirsty Stevens described his Carthaginian plan to strip the Confederates of all their property and repopulate the defeated South with free negroes and righteous Yankees.
Much of the conflict in Lincoln centers on the rivalry and infighting between the Northern sub-nations in the Republican-controlled Congress: conservative Republicans who come from Union Greater Appalachia and Copperhead Democrats from Union Greater Appalachia and New Netherland oppose the Thirteenth Amendment and support a negotiated truce with the Confederacy.
Fernando Wood of New York City and George Pendleton of Ohio accuse Thaddeus Stevens and the Black Republicans of conspiring to “niggerize” America. They accuse Stevens of believing in literal racial equality and predict that abolition will inevitably lead to women’s suffrage and all kinds of other evils. The House erupts in outrage and Stevens is forced to humiliate himself and dissemble to pass the bill.
Stephen F. Hale nailed it in his letter to the Governor of Kentucky:
“But, it is said, there are many Constitutional, conservative men at the North, who sympathize with and battle for us. That is true; but they are utterly powerless, as the late Presidential election unequivocally shows, to breast the tide of fanaticism that threatens to roll over and crush us. With them it is a question of principle, and we award to them all honor for their loyalty to the Constitution of our Fathers. But their defeat is not their ruin. With us it is a question of self-preservation — our lives, our property, the safety of our homes and our hearthstones — all that men hold dear on earth, is involved in the issue.
If we triumph, vindicate our rights and maintain our institutions, a bright and joyous future lies before us. … If we fail, the light of our civilization goes down in blood, our wives and our little ones will be driven from their homes by the light of our own dwellings. The dark pall of barbarism must soon gather over our sunny land, and the scenes of West India emancipation, with its attendant horrors and crimes (that monument of British fanaticism and folly), be re-enacted in our own land upon a more gigantic scale.”
The late presidential election of 2012 shows that nothing much has changed in 150 years and the stakes are exactly the same as they were back then.
In “Can White Northerners Say “No” To Black Run America?,” I wondered aloud if White Northerners were capable of voting for two Yankees over our present negro government. In “The 2012 Election: A Verdict on White Nationalism,” we found out that White Northerners were no more capable of stopping Obama than Fernando Wood and George Pendleton were capable of defeating the Thirteenth Amendment.
The “tide of fanaticism that threatens to roll over and crush us” is still emanating from the Northeast. There are still outnumbered conservatives like Wood and Pendleton fighting a rear guard action behind Union lines against the same fanatics who are desperately trying to sink “our sunny land” beneath the dark pall of Third World barbarism.
Fernando Wood’s “Emperor Abrahamus Africanus the First” has been reincarnated as Barack Hussein Obama. In 1860 and 1864, the White majority in New England voted for Abraham Lincoln. In 2008 and 2012, they turned out again as a solid phalanx for Barack Obama.
Spielberg’s Lincoln is a useful reminder of what happened to us when we made the original mistake of creating a “White Republic” with the Northeast: Richmond in flames, our economy destroyed, negro soldiers bayoneting dead Confederates to the happy tune of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
America has now failed twice. Lincoln is the latest film that shows White Southerners exist in this Union only to be denigrated and destroyed. It is time to secede and create something new.
Note: OD will also be reviewing Django Unchained.