Al Melvin tweets bogus Lincoln quotations

by David Safier

If you read a series of tweets Al Melvin wrote Tuesday, you “learn” that Abe Lincoln was a conservative Republican in today’s (read: Melvin’s) mold. The problem is, the quotes Melvin uses are bogus.

AZCentral ran a great Fact Check on the quotes. They come from two booklets written in 1916 and 1917 by William J.H. Boetcker, an ex-clergyman from Erie, Pennsylvania, who basically made them up.

Reagan used portions of the same bogus quotes at the Republican National Convention.

“What they truly don`t understand,” Reagan said, “is the principle so eloquently stated by Abraham Lincoln: ‘You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.'”

Melvin’s tweets echo most of Reagan’s misquotes.

Alas, according to historian Arthur Schlesinger, “In the 1960s, the Republican National Committee even warned its speakers, ‘Do not use them as Lincoln’s words!’ but to no avail.”

I guess Reagan didn’t get the memo. Neither did Melvin — though even if he did, he only pays attention to the memos he agrees with, so it wouldn’t have mattered.

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1 thought on “Al Melvin tweets bogus Lincoln quotations”

  1. Almost all civilizations engage in revisionist history…Right before they fall. Since conservative aren’t all that great at long-term planning, or even thinking things through to their logical conclusion, it stands to reason that they put no value on history. Telling the truth is just too much work.

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