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Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 10:02 am

Real Lincoln

 I am obliged to Matt Yglesias over at Vox for pointing out that the Republican Party marked Lincoln’s birthday this year by posting on its official Twitter account a quote from the great man — “In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years” — that is apparently fake, there being no evidence he ever said it.

A fake quote is actually an apt way for a fake Republican Party to celebrate the birth of its great champion. Yglesias offered a genuine quote from the man who once led Donald Trump’s party. In a letter to his friend Joshua Speed, Lincoln addressed the anti-immigration, anti-Catholic American Party, more widely, and more accurately known as the Know-Nothings. (Spelling in the original.)

 I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor or degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.

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