Lowry claims Lincoln for conservatives, DiLorenzo responds to Lowry, Godwin’s Law kicks in

In his new book and recent National Review piece, Rich Lowry argues that the American Right has a friend in Lincoln.  I haven’t read the book, but based on the NR article I’d say he makes some valid points, overstates some things, and understates some others.  None of that is surprising, since it’s generally the pattern when people try to shoehorn nineteenth-century political figures into modern categories.

Lowry’s NR piece prompted this response from Thomas DiLorenzo.  While he never really refutes any of Lowry’s points, DiLorenzo does manage to mock Lowry’s physical appearance, criticize his writing style, and label the late William F. Buckley a fascist.  All that in about 350 words.

This is why we can’t have nice things.



Filed under Abraham Lincoln, History and Memory, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Lowry claims Lincoln for conservatives, DiLorenzo responds to Lowry, Godwin’s Law kicks in

  1. Tom Verenna

    Interesting and balanced report of the two articles. I especially appreciate the note that it is anachronistic to shoehorn historical figures into modern political identies. Every politician is guilty of this and so are pseudohistorians like Barton and his friends. However I also think that in general most presidents have hah a hand in both conservative and liberal camps–an effective leader does that. So unsurprisingly, Lincoln was both a conservative and a liberal. He freed the slaves and sought rights for them which was pretty liberal (for the time). He also sought the preservation of thr Union against the southern dream of states rights (to keep slaves). I’m sure modern libertarians and tea party activists would not find a friend in Lincoln today due to those issues. I live in a Northern state, but a few towns over record newspapers that were extremely conservative that were against Lincoln and his war against the south and slavery. But in other ways he was conservative I’m sure.

    • Michael Lynch

      Thanks for the comment. I think you’re correct that most presidents have shown both conservative and liberal tendencies, depending on the particular issue they were faced with at any given time.

  2. Jimmy Dick

    I think Tom made the correct connection regarding what DiLorenzo and his ilk do in linking modern politics and history together. We can look back and see how things were done in a different era, but we have to understand there were a lot of different factors involved. Does what happened in the past translate to today? In most cases absolutely not due to those myriad factors.
    DiLorenzo doesn’t get that. It is a common trend among libertarians to link the Civil War era to today and that connection just doesn’t exist to be realistically made. There are just far too many differences between the two periods of time. As a result DiLorenzo constantly gets his history wrong, but then he does so to give his present day ideology legitimacy.
    This article basically shows that DiLorenzo had nothing to refute Lowry on and as a result just resorted to insults.

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