Monday, July 04, 2005

Armstrong Williams, Idiot

Armstrong Williams, disgraced former employee of the Department of Education, writes:

The government cannot raise our kids. As Abraham Lincoln observed 130 years ago: "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

And you cannot help an idiot who doesn't know how to do basic research.

To state the blindingly obvious, Lincoln never said any of that.

These sentiments were created by the Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, who lectured around the United States about industrial relations at the turn of the twentieth century. There is no evidence linking them to Lincoln as the author.

At one time President Ronald Reagan used them in a speech, wrongly attributing them to Lincoln. Those who are familiar with Lincoln's writings, recognize that these statements do not reflect Lincoln's "voice," nor can they be found in any authentic Lincoln literature.

(More here and here)

Armstrong says of his faux-Lincoln quote, "I herewith propose that these words receive more attention." I'm happy to do my bit, Armstrong.

Update: As "loser" and others at Eschaton observed less than 130 minutes ago, Honest Abe was dead 130 years ago.

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