Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Mount Rushmore – Why Those Four?

Posted by Martin C. Fox on October 20, 2013

This is another in my “Did you Ever Wonder” series.

Recently the Erie Times News featured a retired dean from Edinboro University, Terry L. Smith, who wrote a piece on Mount Rushmore. His point was that somehow those presidents were not like the Republicans who caused the shutdown ruckus. The tag line was:

“Lincoln, who is devoted to the same ideals as the other three, sees something they could not or would

not see. And I love him for this in the same way I love this country.”

Same Ideals! Say What?

I have always wondered what the thought process was in choosing those presidents. The two pair are polar opposites. The pairs being Washington/Jefferson and Lincoln/Roosevelt.

Washington and Jefferson detested big government, standing armies, taxation and government meddling at home and abroad in general. One of Washington’s last words as president were “Avoid foreign entanglements”. Washington and Jefferson were slave owners. Washington put down slave revolts in Haiti but repented and was the first of the founding fathers to free their slaves.

Lincoln owned no slaves but is considered launch control for modern US crony capitalism. Northern industries, particularly northern railroads, were Lincoln’s favorite buddies.

The US was only developed nation at the time to have to resort to war, the health of the state, to free slaves.

But wait – The civil war between the states was not to free slaves but to keep the cheap Southern labor force under Washington DC’s control. Lincoln shot and arrested antiwar protesters, shutdown antiwar newspapers, arrested newspaper editors who came out against the war, deported others Lincoln said in campaign speeches that while blacks should be treated humanely they were incapable of assimilation in white society. They should all be deported to where they came from or colonies in the Caribbean. Lincoln was what was known at the time as a “colonist”. Those who believed blacks should be put in colonies much the same as Indian reservations.

Teddy Roosevelt had his own peculiarities. Much like today’s John McCain, Lindsay Graham and neocons in general TR did not see a war he did not like. He was a guiding force in starting the progressive movement. He threw Americas military weight around giving birth to the Monroe doctrine corollary.

Roosevelt started the bull moose party because Robert Taft rejected Roosevelt’s progressivism. Taft was a Classical Liberal.

NOT to be confused with today’s liberal.

TR to his credit helped end the Russo-Japanese war and earned a Nobel Prize. That is not to say his motives were not political, forging an outcome he felt would benefit the US the most.

“Lincoln, who is devoted to the same ideals as the other three…”

Don’t think so.

“Lincoln…I love him…in the same way I love this country.”

Not me.

Be seeing you


4 Responses to “Mount Rushmore – Why Those Four?”

  1. Doug Rowley said

    There is no way Lincoln should be considered Washington’s equal. Not Even close.

  2. Robert Cogan said

    Terry has politicial beliefs that render his judgments sometimes odd. We argued mildly over whether free trade has a Kantian universalistic justification (Americans are no more or less deserving of jobs than 3rd world people) or national strength through home country employment is more justified.I took the latter position. Also notable: he was a philosopher by training and friends with members of the department, but when he left, he recommended the program and department be abolished and there be 1 retrenchment in it.

    • I can’t blame the professor. I didn’t learn about the dark side in school and the media is not forthcoming. Few people know. When DiLorenzo’s “Lincoln Unmasked” came out I managed to surf to the State of Il website where excerpts from campaign speeches and other writings confirmed his less than gracious attitude towards blacks.

  3. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 was a powerful move that promised freedom for slaves in the Confederacy as soon as the Union armies reached them, and authorized the enlistment of African Americans in the Union Army. The Emancipation Proclamation did not free slaves in the Union-allied slave-holding states that bordered the Confederacy. Since the Confederate States did not recognize the authority of President Lincoln, and the proclamation did not apply in the border states , at first the proclamation freed only slaves who had escaped behind Union lines. Still, the proclamation made the abolition of slavery an official war goal that was implemented as the Union took territory from the Confederacy. According to the Census of 1860, this policy would free nearly four million slaves, or over 12% of the total population of the United States.

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