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the death of lincoln
June 9, 2004 3:41 PM   Subscribe

the death of lincoln. Originally from June 1865. "The murder of President Lincoln aroused a feeling of regret deeper than was ever before known in our history. Men and papers who had opposed his policy and vilified him personally, now vied with his adherents and friends in lauding the rare wisdom and goodness which marked his conduct and character." Hmmmm... sounds familiar.
posted by sunexplodes (36 comments total)

 
If Reagan had freed the slaves, or kept the country together thru a disastrous civil war--where it was touch and go for a while--what's going on now would be warranted. Sadly, he didn't, and it's not. (and this funeral now is a strictly partisan Republican affair--Clinton and Carter aren't invited to speak.)

Given that there wasn't any mass media to speak of back then, the lengthy and slow Lincoln procession was probably helpful. I imagine that much of the country didn't even know about the assasination until at least the day after.
posted by amberglow at 4:20 PM on June 9, 2004


I'm young. Would someone mind explaining what Reagan did? My past understanding has always been that he was a shit and the only mitigating circumstance was that he had Alzheimer. Now he's dead and its like when Nixon died and we (as elementary school students) had to listen to all this obvious bull about what a great man he was in the end, bull that even the teachers couldn't say with a straight face. While I know Reagan wasn't as evil as, say, Nixon, Bush, or Stalin my limited understanding was that he was no one to be proud of.
posted by Grod at 4:42 PM on June 9, 2004


....and this funeral now is a strictly partisan Republican affair....

Remember how Dems were lambasted for the partisan pep rally nature of the Paul Wellstone funeral a couple years back?

You ain't seen nuthin' yet....
posted by spilon at 5:00 PM on June 9, 2004


If it wasn't for Honest Abe, I'd be living in Lancaster, Nebraska.

It is definitely NOT common knowledge here in my state that the new (as of 1867) capital of "Lincoln" (formerly the podunk village of "Lancaster") was at that same time renamed for Abaham Lincoln -- not as an honor, mind you ... but as a cynical political ploy mounted by a disgruntled and cagey State Senator who was pissed that his city of Omaha was no longer the seat of State government. The idea was most Nebraskans south of the Platte were sympathetic (hell, rabid supporters) of the South during the Civil War. Thus, they'd reject the proposal if forced to endure a capital named after the head of the Union.

neeky-neeky

It didn't quite work out, though ...
posted by RavinDave at 5:02 PM on June 9, 2004


weird, Ravin--i've been there-it's a fun town. I had no idea about the name.

Grod, in a nutshell: They say he won the cold war but he didn't. They say he made America proud again, after the malaise of the 70s, but what he really did was make Republicans not ashamed because of Nixon/Watergate anymore. He was very divisive and didn't care at all for poor people, black people, gay people, or anyone not rich. He hated the environment, and liberals and hippies. He went to war in Grenada for no reason. He traded arms for hostages--an impeachable offense, but he wasn't impeached. He smiled the whole time, so people thought he was a nice guy. He had charisma, and was a very good performer on tv. He sucked, and we're still living with the effects of what he did (and didn't do) as president. Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, George Bush, and Grover Norquist are all his bastard children.
posted by amberglow at 5:29 PM on June 9, 2004


I'm young. Would someone mind explaining what Reagan did? My past understanding has always been that he was a shit and the only mitigating circumstance was that he had Alzheimer.

Sorry for not answering your question but I just find it interesting that I'm only in my early 20s myself and until I ventured into MeFi I always thought that Reagan was a great President and was universally admired (I would have thought that to be the case solely on the 1984 landslide). It's interesting tha't people have such divergent ideas on how things "always" are.
posted by gyc at 5:30 PM on June 9, 2004


While I know Reagan wasn't as evil as, say, Nixon, Bush, or Stalin my limited understanding was that he was no one to be proud of.

LOL. I was just a wee tyke when Reagan was prez, so I have no idea. But his politics were pretty similar to Dubya's. Although his economic policies were tempered with a little more sanity.

---

But basicaly what makes him so 'great' is that he unified and revitalized the republican party, not the nation. Although republicans seem to get the two confused quite a bit.
posted by delmoi at 5:38 PM on June 9, 2004


Eric Alterman sums it up well:

In truth, Ronald Reagan was never as popular as he is being presented to be with Americans. As president, was never even as popular as Bill Clinton during the period of Clinton’s impeachment. Don’t believe it? Look here.

Nor was he considered to be as “great” a president after leaving office, at least compared to Clinton whose post-presidency rating is also higher. Those figures are here, not that you will hear any network or cable news reporter mention them this week.

As a matter of historical record, Reagan campaigned on government discipline but vastly expanded its size and scope, along with the deficits it created; he provided weapons to terrorists and misled the country about it; he helped engender genocide in Central America—according to the terms employed, for instance, by Guatemala’s own truth commission, and misled the country about that too-- and showed no compassion to those who were stricken with AIDS, owing to a personal prejudice or (more likely) political calculations that homosexuals were not worthy of presidential attention.

I’m not surprised that Reagan’s supporters do not want to hear about any of this. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt after all. Nor am I surprised that the media wish to ignore it and blow Reagan up into a kind of fuzzy-wuzzy doll who just smiled a lot and made everybody feel good about themselves, while slaying communism with his bare hands. My AOL pop-up screen reads “His words brought down walls.”

Nor, I suppose, should I surprised that the myth of the “liberal media” will survive the SCLM deification of this strange, strange man. But it has ever been this way.


And, boy, did the foam at the mouth crowd foam at the mouth at that.

Scroll down and see if you don't agree....
posted by y2karl at 5:39 PM on June 9, 2004


Oh, I can not believe I am about to post this, but....

I have been thinking about Lincoln's presidency vis-a-vis GW's for some time now. For much of his presidency, Lincoln was truly reviled by many in the North, and even in his own party. They thought he was wasting lives fighting a losing battle to keep a part of the Union that, frankly some people may have been willing to let go. He had incredible courage in staying the course when so many opposed his actions. (Now this is the hard part for me:) GW is also prosecuting an unpopular war (or more similarly, a war with many detractors). He is resolute and staying the course. A successful prosecution holds some real potential benefits, despite the enmity engendered in the process (same as in the Civil War where 150 years later some still refuse to give up the conflict). There are so many reasons why this analogy may be false, but for a GW it would be easy to latch onto in order to justify his actions.

Another analogy, perhaps even scarier: Today we have the country about as divided as possible. I have heard conservatives say "F*** the coasts and the industrial Midwest - let them leave the union so we can govern in peace." I have heard liberals express similar opinions about the south and west. One of Lincoln's most famous quotes - "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Ridiculous? We are as divided in this country as I have ever seen. Why, we even have folks planning a South Carolina religious state succession.
posted by caddis at 5:44 PM on June 9, 2004


Maybe you had to live through it? The homeless population exploded, more people went on welfare, hundreds of thousands died of AIDS, there was a big stock bubble and then big crash in 87, he actually said over and over that homeless and poor people deserved to be that way--greedy evil bastard. He was good at reading teleprompters and smilling and nodding. The reporters back then (most of which are still on tv today) hated him too--he would pretend he didn't hear their questions all the time, especially when he was in trouble. Many of the people in his administration were indicted too. His popularity was never as great as people are saying now it was--Clinton was more popular overall, even tho he was hated too. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer, in a way that hadn't been true to such an extent until then--that whole "Greed is Good" thing.

Someday a 20 year old will ask you about George W Bush, and you'll respond the way those of us who are older are responding now, maybe.

on preview, what y2k and alterman said. Don't believe the hype about Reagan. Nixon was a better president, when all is said and done--but they both broke the law.
posted by amberglow at 5:46 PM on June 9, 2004


caddis--one gigantic diff bet Lincoln and Bush is that Lincoln didn't invade Canada instead of the south. That's kinda important--Lincoln didn't move the fight for reasons of his own, and lie about it.
posted by amberglow at 5:50 PM on June 9, 2004


See, these explanations mesh with my basic understanding.: Reaganomics, a depression, AIDS, etc. , these things I'm aware of. What I don't know, and still don't understand, is why "everyone" (the media, mostly) suddenly likes the man so much. Unifying the Republican party sounds criminal, to my ears. Thanks for the clarifications, though, and the links.
posted by Grod at 6:23 PM on June 9, 2004


Grod- "everyone" likes him so much now because he died a terrible death and people remember the 80s as being good, even though they weren't. I cannot give Reagan credit for much, but he was telegenic and charismatic, and he did speak in optimistic, positive terms (in spite of what was actually going on.) and he made people feel good. It doesn't hurt that Nancy Reagan went out of her way to quietly humanize him in the last ten, fifteen years, either. Their published love letters were a best seller.
posted by headspace at 7:24 PM on June 9, 2004


I have been thinking about Lincoln's presidency vis-a-vis GW's for some time now.

The similarities are most striking in their abuse and extension of power. For my money, the 3 most similar presidents going are Bush 2, FDR, and Lincoln. The precedent for much of the garbage going on now had deep roots in those 2 administrations, and I cringe that those 2 corpses garner so much respect. I suppose it is the way of things.

/waits patiently to see the new money design.
posted by thirteen at 7:39 PM on June 9, 2004


So complete is the victory that Kerry refuses to even accept the term "liberal". Now you freaks of nature are "progressive". Whatever, Ronbo will always be remembered as the hero he was and our nation exalts in him and our supremacy in the world due to his victorious triumphs.

Ronbo?

Ronbo?

/starts to picture Reagan naked to the waist, stops.
posted by namespan at 7:48 PM on June 9, 2004


thirteen, FDR and Lincoln helped millions of people here at home...who is Dubya helping besides his/Cheney's buddies?
posted by amberglow at 7:52 PM on June 9, 2004


Grod/gyc: this is what the administration was like
posted by amberglow at 8:02 PM on June 9, 2004


Ok...I'll admit to being old enough to not only remember Ronnie, but voting against him. (only once mind you...I was still too young the first time.)

Ronnie, bless his little dead demonic soul, was pure, unadulterated evil. Evil. EEEEvil. Well, ok, the EEEEVil was probably Nancy...that woman oozes evil in her wake...she does...it's true.)

Reagan set the stage for the destruction of real Republicans. He brought in and succored the Christian right-wing which has spawned the current neo-cons, (don't get me wrong...I'm all about Christians...just not so much when they think their religion should overrule my non-Christian reality).

He's gotten credit for ending the cold war, when in fact, we could have had a badger in the white house, and the cold war would have ended. We outspent the other side...we destroyed them from an economic standpoint, they had no option but to throw their cards on the table. It was a policy of 40 years that destroyed the Soviet Union...not Ronnie. (Bless his evil dead soul.) (I'm southern...we have to do that blessing thing...it's the law.)

The man (or his minions) totally screwed up South America in such a way that we're still dealing with the fallout.

Ronnie is the president who authorized giving zillions of dollars to Osama...nominally to fight those "damn red ruskies". Those training camps we blew up? Ronnie built them.

At one point Reagan tried to cut federal funding for school lunches for the poor. He tried to have ketchup reclassified as a vegetable to save money.

See here for a litany of the truly evil things Ronnie did, supported, started, stood for. Really...fucking evil, this guy. I'd list them all, but he does a faster job than I could...as I babble.

As a side note, I worked the republican convention as a bartender during the second Ronnie nomination...and I have to say, that Republicans...for being the "rich" party, tip significantly worse than the blue collar set I usually served. Those were some cheap, cheap, white boys...I tell you what. And grab-asses too. Grabby and cheap. Pretty much sums up my opinion of the whole lot of 'em really...

And tonight, I made the brave adventure of taking my toddler to a dining establishment in the hopes that we could stay long enough to eat, they had TV's in every room turned on to the freaking procession...and my only thought was "Jesus the Jew...I wonder how many tax dollars that nonsense is costing..."
posted by dejah420 at 8:30 PM on June 9, 2004


It is not who they helped, it is what liberties they stripped. Bush's body count is actually lower than the other 2. They all believed they could imprison people just for disagreeing with them. All of their wars could have been avoided.

Do not get me wrong, Bush is a jerkass, and I do not give a damn about the freedom status of the people of Iraq beyond making sure we are not part of the tyranny. These three fellows thought they were above the law, and that is why I cannot help but compare them. America would be a better place if none of them had risen to power.
posted by thirteen at 8:34 PM on June 9, 2004


how could WW2 be avoided?
posted by amberglow at 8:59 PM on June 9, 2004


"Grabby and cheap"

if Kerry had a sense of humor, he'd turn this into an attack ad. like a fake news item with drunken jingo Republicans cheering for Bush, stealing money from tip jars and inappropriately touching women at the GOP's NY convention
posted by matteo at 9:12 PM on June 9, 2004



how could WW2 be avoided?


By not having waged a secret war against the will of the American people. The idea of entering the war was very unpopular, and it is hardly a secret that FDR wanted the US in that fight. He promised on many, many ocassions that he would avoid war, and did everything in his power to ensure that it would happen. Not the war of convenience that Iraq is, but the deception and the draft enabled make it that more serious. that bastard should be soaking in a lava bath with Hitler and Stalin.
posted by thirteen at 9:46 PM on June 9, 2004


But we did the right thing--a Europe controlled by Nazis, and an unchecked Japan (that attacked us), would have been far more horrendous, no? I wasn't around then but i've never heard of people running away to Canada to avoid fighting WW2, or refusing to serve. I have bones to pick with FDR too, especially about taking in refugees (which he didn't do), but i can say without qualification that we were doing good then, at least in my opinion. (as opposed to Vietnam and our current Iraq thing)
posted by amberglow at 9:52 PM on June 9, 2004



But we did the right thing--a Europe controlled by Nazis, and an unchecked Japan (that attacked us), would have been far more horrendous, no?


Not for the US. It was considered Europe's war. There was still bitterness about having participated in WWI, and the US was pretty damn safe from a mainland attack, and it is ridiculous to believe the Nazi's would have held Europe even without US intervention. It is just too much land, and Russia was gonna roll over them just because the numbers just do not scale. Japan attacked Pearl harbor because the US was blockading the country, and was waging a covert war on them both with American ships, and American pilots flying planes for the Chinese. Did you ever wonder why Japan would attack us, such a large country, when they were already engages with a good chunk of Asia?

People did refuse to serve. the equivalent of the Patriot Act was in place. FDR threatened to occupy the Chicago Tribune tower with a bunch of Marines because of their critical reports about the war. The list goes on.

Your opinion is yours, but it is not worth much against the innocent dead. It is wrong to sacrifice the unwilling. The fact that people did not flee to Canada (who was also in the war) says more about the people of the time than it does about the cause.
posted by thirteen at 10:06 PM on June 9, 2004


oh, thirteen, I'll have to disagree with you there. I think WWII was a justifiable fight. Hitler had to be stopped. For the sake of the world, that loony and his cabal had to be eliminated or neutralized.

Now, I'll grant you that there is some evidence that suggests we could have had significantly lower casualties in Pearl Harbor had warnings gone out in time...and I'll grant that the primary reason we were able to whip this country into war fervor was Pearl Harbor...which suggests a level of memetic programming at work.

And while I think that if it were possible to save the lives of the hundreds of men who died that day, we should have done exactly that, I do not think that WWII could have been won by the Allies without the the Americans.

While Hitler would have inevitably lost the Russian front...as nobody has ever been able to take Russia by land force, he surely could have devastated the rest of Europe...and that, my friend, would have given us a radically different world. And the Soviets had neither the manpower or the military resources to roll the Nazi's back much further than the Russian Front. Remember that the Soviets lost upwards of 20 million people fighting the Nazi's...it's not like they weren't the tiniest bit tapped by the time we wandered into the fight.

Imagine England under the iron thumb of Fascism...imagine if the the 1000 year reich had been allowed to flourish for even 50 years...the thought is abhorrent to any thinking person.

Japan should have surrendered, warrior code or not, they didn't stand a chance...we could have sent wave after wave of soldiers. I can't justify the nukes...I can't. I've seen the aftermath. To be honest, I'm not sure the people who gave the orders would have given them if they'd realized that true effect...but I say that with the idealism of someone born 40 years after the fact. And I've studied enough military history to realize what a land war in Asia would have meant in casualties both to the allied fighters and to the population of Japan. I don't have the knowledge, or the omnipotence to pretend that I know an answer that is better than the one that got us a surrender in 3 days. The Japanese are/were a proud warrior culture...they would never have given up easily.

I, and you can read my mefi history, am not now, nor have I ever been a proponent of war. I'm a military brat that comes from 200 years of American military. I hate war. War tends to kill off the people I love.

That said...there are justifiable fights. There are times when we have no choice but to gird our loins and wade into the bloodbath, because there is no alternative. In my opinion, Hitler was the last case where that was true...but true, by god, it was.
posted by dejah420 at 10:16 PM on June 9, 2004



oh, thirteen, I'll have to disagree with you there. I think WWII was a justifiable fight. Hitler had to be stopped. For the sake of the world, that loony and his cabal had to be eliminated or neutralized.


What exactly was justified? The lies and deception? The loss of freedom required to make the country tow the line Deciding that it is acceptable to spend the lives of a generation? America was not told the truth, then or now. I blame FDR for every American who died in WWII. He could have, and was honor bound to prevent US involvement in that war, and he intentionally did not. It was a betrayal. You can agree that it was right to betray, but you cannot say it was honorable.

It is a waste of time to debate whether Europe could have freed itself. There were only so many Axis, and so much ground to cover. They were not supermen. I am gonna give the Russians a lot more credit than you do, and say they would have rolled over Berlin eventually.
I did not even touch on the bomb. Your version is the one we all learned in school. I have read that they just wanted to test them out. Regardless, the bombs were the only way to achieve a complete and total surrender, but not the only way to achieve peace. the Japanese HAD offered a surrender, but the terms were not to our liking. Now revisit the bomb and the effects.

My family has had members in most every war that has come along going back to WWII at least. My brother is a translator in Iraq right now. I agree that there are justifiable fights, but disagree that that was one of them. A true unprovoked attack on this country is about the only reason I can see going to war. It has not happened since the Revolution. If you give it up for Hitler just cause he was Hitler, then the bar is lowered for every new Hitler that comes along.
posted by thirteen at 10:38 PM on June 9, 2004


Grod, another factor in Reagan's apparent "popularity" (although the Alterman article linked previously points out that Reagan was never as popular as Clinton ... even while he was being impeached) is quite simply that he was following an extremely unpopular President. Hostages in Iran, 18% interest rates, etc., turned people off Jimmy Carter -- not that those things were necessarily his fault, but those are the breaks. So when they had a chance to vote for a cheerful optimist, they did it.
posted by pmurray63 at 11:28 PM on June 9, 2004


Here's an overview of Reagan's life from Wikipedia that is a bit more balanced than what you'll find in the media or on MeFi. (Obviously, you should also consult some other neutral, pro-, anti-Reagan biographies, especially printed ones.) There are reasons both for why people despise him and love him, and it's best if you ignore the raw emotion and just make up your own mind, IMHO.
posted by armage at 7:29 AM on June 10, 2004


I'm with dejah on fighting in WW2...sorry thirteen (of course, being jewish has something to do with that for me too).

We had draft riots and lies here in NY during the Civil War--did that make it not worth fighting? We always have manipulation during wartime, or threat of war--the question is whether the underlying cause is just--WW2 was just, and I think going after Osama is just, but Iraq certainly not.
posted by amberglow at 9:22 AM on June 10, 2004


Grod, another factor in Reagan's apparent "popularity" (although the Alterman article linked previously points out that Reagan was never as popular as Clinton ... even while he was being impeached) is quite simply that he was following an extremely unpopular President.

So how did he manage to win so convincingly in '84? IIRC didn't he win every state except for Minnesota and DC? Even Clinton couldn't do the same in '96. Did Mondale really suck that badly?
posted by gyc at 10:31 AM on June 10, 2004


Yes, he did.
posted by caddis at 11:06 AM on June 10, 2004


yeah, unfortunately--very wimpy (Ferraro rocked tho)

and we were on the upswing of the bubble.
posted by amberglow at 11:39 AM on June 10, 2004


I am gonna give the Russians a lot more credit than you do, and say they would have rolled over Berlin eventually.


without massive American financial/technological/logistical help? without America's military playing a key role in the game?
that's at best wishful thinking, at worse shaky history

not to mention an even larger problem for a neutral USA -- how do you contain Hitler after he's taken all of Europe? would permanent war on the Eastern Front be enough? (if you assume the Soviets had enough money/stamina/cannon fodder to keep fighting indefinitely, and it's a big if).

also consider how much more popular Hitler was at home if you compare him to Stalin. thousands and thousands of Russians were greeting Nazi troops with bread and salt -- the traditional welcome ceremony

also: deuterium oxide was a slow process, but Hitler would have gotten the Bomb eventually. what then?
posted by matteo at 11:55 AM on June 10, 2004


thirteen, that's got to be the most ridiculous tripe I've read in a good long time. There are just so many problems with your take on WW2 I don't even know where to begin.

You seem to assume Germany would have had to remain physically in occupation of all of Europe to dominate the continent. That's ridiculous. Had they been able to bring Britain and Russia to the peace table, they would have redrawn Europe into an easily dominated form, with totalitarian regimes commanding most of the continent. Remember Spain, Italy, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria were all pro-German dictatorships. Puppet governments would have been installed in Norway, France, Ukraine, and the Baltic states. They weren't looking to conquer all of Europe, just bend it to their will, and you don't have to occupy a country or continent to dominate it. Had it not been for American support of the UK and USSR, they would have. Easily.

I'm willing to bet more Americans "fled" to Canada in WW2 prior to Pearl Harbor in order to join the fight than fled during all of Vietnam. I think that says more about America's opinion of that war than any of the crap you're espousing.

As for Reagan, every dead President gets praised, even the really crappy ones. They'll find nice things to say about Ford, Carter, GHWBush, Clinton, and yes GWBush, too. Wait about ten years after for a better perspective. Look at Nixon. His post-Watergate vilification was almost caricature, but there were practically calls for beatification upon his death. We're only now starting to give his presidency a balanced look - an incredible president with an equally incredible flaw.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:01 PM on June 10, 2004


I thank you all for your positions on the long settled war. I do not much care that we disagree on the specifics of the actual fighting.

Since so much was written in response to me, I am going to hunt and pack in response. I hope no one feels slighted.


We had draft riots and lies here in NY during the Civil War--did that make it not worth fighting?


I do not think it is ever right to draft anyone. A draft is morally no better than slavery, and the riots prove the people were not willing to go. How could it possibly be right to send those people to their deaths? I do not think we can even get to asking if it was worth fighting, when the answer is plain. Without forced conscription there was no civil war. The South leaving the union was not worth the incredible horror that was required to conquer it.

Our divide is how much leeway we feel is appropriate when gambling with other people's lives. I say none, and you say... How much do you say?

not to mention an even larger problem for a neutral USA -- how do you contain Hitler after he's taken all of Europe? would permanent war on the Eastern Front be enough? (if you assume the Soviets had enough money/stamina/cannon fodder to keep fighting indefinitely, and it's a big if).


I am thinking Hitler and the Nazi's getting too much credit. There never would have been peace. There was resistance, and the more land that was taken left that much more to remain unsecured. Europe would have freed itself before Hitler ever got around to dreaming about attacking the American mainland. The idea that they could have dreamed about invading the states in a joke. Re the Russians: If they failed as you suggest, that still does not change anything about the situation in the US. The people were not interested in a fight with Hitler. Don't the people deserve that consideration in a Democracy?

I'm willing to bet more Americans "fled" to Canada in WW2 prior to Pearl Harbor in order to join the fight than fled during all of Vietnam. I think that says more about America's opinion of that war than any of the crap you're espousing.

There are lots (better prolly) quotes like this:
Members of the 'America First' party held a rally on the 28th of April, 1941, in Chicago. In the speeches, mention of Winston Churchill's name drew boos from the 10,000 person audience.
If a fraction of a percentage of Americans felt like fighting before Dec 7, that would indeed add up to thousands.

Your bet would prove nothing. The facts are that a vast majority of Americans opposed entry into WWII, and only changed their opinion after Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was not inevitable. It would be as tho Sept 11 were the response to unknown covert attacks on the Middle East by the US.

I do not have anything to prove here. I am saying that these guys opened the door to what we have today. If you do not like Bush, you should have disdain for the power ceded him by his predecessors. The Lend Lease act, and the Hull letter got us into Iraq surely as they did WWII.
The suspension of Habeas Corpus and anti-sedition laws made way for the patriot act.
posted by thirteen at 6:41 PM on June 10, 2004


thirteen... thank you for expanding on your thoughts. I see now you're an American Isolationist. That's fine. You feel no obligation outside your immediate self interest, a common enough feeling in American history. Some of us have higher ideals, though, and think it's important not only to protect our own liberty but to extent it to others.

There's nothing wrong with being an isolationist. Germany never would have invaded the US, even if the UK and USSR both fell, so there was no need for America to enter WW2. And had Hitler not declared war on the US in support of Japan after Pearl Harbor, it's certainly conceivable that the US would not have joined the European war. I'm not going to minimize the opposition to the war, it was very strong.

But there's a difference between "best interest" and what's right. The US didn't have to enter the European conflict, and it's debatable whether or not it was in your best interest to do so. It was the right thing to do, however, if you're a human first and American second. It's all about priorities, and yours are very different from mine.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:50 AM on June 11, 2004


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