The allure of attributing ideologically friendly quotes to popular historical figures must be so great for David Barton that it is like an addiction. If that’s true, Barton needs a support group.
On his Wallbuilders Facebook page, Barton again uses a quote oft attributed incorrectly to Abraham Lincoln.
As I have noted in the past, this quote can’t be found in Lincoln’s works or speeches. Barton has attributed it to Lincoln before, and he has contested it before. This time he labels the quote with the phrase “attributed to Abraham Lincoln.”I don’t think it helps to pass the buck and say the quote was attributed to Lincoln. Who did that? What is the source of the quote? Barton constantly faults academic historians with revisionism and failure to use primary sources, but a case can be made that he is the biggest offender. In fact, that is why I point this out. His complaints about academic historians ring very hollow when he does exactly what he accuses them of doing.
If he likes the quote, why not just use it and tag it with anonymous or unknown? The only reason I can think of is that it wouldn’t have as much impact on readers. However, isn’t that misleading?