Looking through my daily alerts, I was set to post an article that contained a Lincoln quote that seemed very apropos in this election year of have and have-nots. As I’d never heard it quoted before, though, I thought I’d look into it to see how I could’ve missed such a great line. I’m glad I did – turns out this Washington Post reporter did the research for me, 5 years ago.
Moreover, the point of the passage is very un-Lincolnian. A corporate lawyer whose long and cunning labor on behalf of the railroads earned him a comfortable income, Lincoln was a vigorous champion of market capitalism, even when it drifted (as it tends to do) toward large concentrations of wealth. Many of his administration’s signal initiatives — the transcontinental railroad, for example — amounted to what liberals today would condemn as "corporate welfare." Lots of speculators got rich under Lincoln, as Gore notes. As Gore does not note, Lincoln seemed not to have minded.
Unless, of course, Gore’s quote from a trembling Abe was evidence of his real thinking.
It isn’t, though. It’s a fake.