Tuesday, April 29, 2014

100,000 views, Lincoln, & Concern Trolls

The strange popularity of this blog among the robot set (500 views a day & no real comments) has pushed it over 100,000 page views.

To celebrate without illusions, it's convenient that I've been reading The Coming Fury, and found a passage about Lincoln's secretaries answering letters during the campaign. Per Catton, Lincoln, asked to soothe Southerners sincerely disturbed by the tone of the campaign, replied "There are no such men".

Or, in a more modern - Linkable! version -

The president understood the dangers that any public pronouncement would entail. Shortly after the 1860 presidential election, Mr. Lincoln talked to one visitor about yielding to the worries of Southerners: "It is the trick by which the South breaks down every northern man. I would go to Washington without the support of the men who supported me and were my friends before election. I would be as powerless as a block of buckeye wood. The honest man (you are talking of honest men) will look at our platform and what I have said. There they will find everything I could now say or which they would ask me to say. All I could say would be but repetition. Having told them all these things ten times already, would they believe the eleventh declaration? Let us be practical. There are many general terms afloat, such as 'conservatism,' 'enforcement of the irrepressible conflict at the point of the bayonet,' 'hostility to the South,' and so forth - all of which mean nothing without definition. What then could I say to allay their fears, if they will not define what particular act or acts they fear from me or my friends?"

Which is, of course, a bit different than Catton's version. Such are quotes from the pre-tape recorder era. "Modern quotes are 100% accurate" - Albert Camus.