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Facts are Stubborn Things, Mr. Huckabee

September 6th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

emancipation
John Adams, while defending the wildly unpopular soldiers who had fired into the crowd in the incident known as the Boston Massacre, famously remarked, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” This morning Republican Presidential hopeful former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee compared jailed Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis to Abraham Lincoln, suggesting that Lincoln defied the Constitution in his struggle against slavery.

Folks, this is exactly the monotonous note I have been strumming in my one note samba about history and politics. Politicians hope you don’t know the facts so that you can be swayed with lies. In fact, slavery was legal and in full practice in the United States throughout Lincoln’s lifetime. Slavery was legal and still practiced in Kentucky, Maryland, West Virginia, and Delaware throughout the Civil War, and was legal in parts of Louisiana at the end of that war. The Emancipation Proclamation declared emancipation only for slaves “within the rebellious states” where Lincoln had no practical jurisdiction. Effectively, the Proclamation didn’t free any slaves, and in fact did not end slavery. Slavery in the United States was ended by the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865, after Lincoln’s assassination.

So, although Lincoln was against slavery, and changed the character of the Civil War to be about emancipation, Lincoln always acted within the law and the Constitution in regards to slavery. A man seeking the Presidency should know that.

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