Archive for July 4th, 2019

The Brute Power of the Billionaire Press


(Guardian Comments) – George Monbiot:

A report I helped publish has led to attacks and flat-out falsehoods in the rightwing media. …

theguardian 2019/jul/03 land-reform

A. Paul Weber: Das Gerücht

Lincoln’s Disdain for Demagogues


(Guardian Comments) – Sidney Blumenthal:

Trump’s most recent reflection on his competition with Lincoln came in his interview with George Stephanopoulos, broadcast on 16 June on ABC News, in which he blurted: “If you can believe it, Abraham Lincoln was treated supposedly very badly, but nobody’s been treated badly like me.”

On 4 July, while Trump mugs on the Mall, the marble Lincoln will maintain a dignified silence. Many have wondered what Lincoln might say if confronted by the people and events of their time. In 1914, at the beginning of the first world war, the poet Vachel Lindsay, in Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight, portrayed a ghostly Lincoln deploring the conflagration. But we do not have to wonder what Lincoln might say about demagogic exploitation of the Fourth of July or hypocritical displays about the ideals of the Declaration of Independence. His statements on the subject were voluminous, plain and scathing.

Here is a small sample:

To a friend, 15 August 1855:

On the question of liberty, as a principle, we are not what we have been. When we were the political slaves of King George, and wanted to be free, we called the maxim that ‘all men are created equal,’ a self-evident truth; but now when we have grown fat, and have lost all dread of being slaves ourselves, we have become so greedy to be masters that we call the same maxim ‘a self-evident lie.’ The Fourth of July has not quite dwindled away; it is still a great day – for burning fire-crackers!!!

theguardian 2019/jun/30 trump-lincoln

Donald and Melania Trump at the Lincoln Memorial in January 2017