Letter to the Editor: Questionable quote
BY Thomas Donahy, Tulsa
Thursday, February 14, 2013
2/14/13 at 7:17 AM
In her eagerness to discredit President Obama and disparage his efforts to help the working poor, Jeanmarie Billington ("Read Lincoln," Feb. 8) mocks Obama's imitation of Abraham Lincoln. She says the president missed the quote, "You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. ... You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich."
The reason Obama "missed" the quote is because it is bogus. The words were written by William Boetcker in 1916 and popularized by a pamphlet written in 1942.
Ronald Reagan perpetuated the hoax by using this quote (which he attributed to Lincoln) at the 1992 Republican Convention. Billington can be forgiven, because of either an unawareness of history or an indoctrination by overzealous right-wingers. However, it is hard to imagine that Reagan's professional speech writers were unable to verify a quote. Read Lincoln.
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