Episode 93: Abraham Lincoln–Emancipator or Dictator?

On this episode, we set our sights on Abraham Lincoln. Is there a grand conspiracy theory we uncover? Not really. (Or maybe yes, if you’re Brad…he’s pretty into this topic and the reasons he thinks the Civil War started). Instead, we wanted to contrast the history books which only tell a tale of a man who was saintly, could do no wrong, freed the slaves, and saved the country. Because there was another side to this man–as with all men of power–that shows some dastardly deeds.

So what’s the dirt on Honest Abe? Well, for one, he wasn’t all that honest. I know—gasp—a politician lied. More importantly, Brad shares a theory that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery or even with maintaining the union between all the states. Some people think it was about the Republican party trying to become a national power and doing so at the expense of hundreds of thousands of Americans. This may or may not be true, but many disturbing things were true indeed: Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and detained prisoners indefinitely; he deported political opponents; and he jailed newspaper editors who published false claims about him.

So turn in to hear about Abe’s crazy duel with a cavalry sabre, how he wrote letters to newspapers under a fake name (Rebecca), the truth about séances Mary Todd Lincoln held at the White House to contact the spirits of their dead son, and how Abe sent a whole lot of Navajo and Apache on a death march that killed them off. We of course give him his props for some of the great things he did accomplish (well, not Brad…he seems to really hate Lincoln), but we also wanted to reveal some of the truths about this larger-than-life American figure who most people only hear a white-washed version of.

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