Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Lincoln Derangement Syndrome

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on August 23, 2010

New vocabulary word, boys and girls. Try to use it once a day:

Lincoln Derangement Syndrome (n): A deeply-embedded psychosis held by some Lost Causers and defenders of Southern Heritage™, indicated by the reflexive, knee-jerk response to any criticism of the Confederacy, by pointing out that (1) Abraham Lincoln held personal views about African Americans that were racist, (2) the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free any slaves, or (3) that Lincoln’s public policy position toward the institution of slavery changed over time. There is no known cure.

9 Responses

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  1. TheRaven said, on August 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    There is no known cure.

    No doubt, but tobacco will hasten its demise.

    Free cigarettes for all Lost Causers!

  2. Gregg Jones said, on August 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Kind words will always get better results. You don’t like people who have strong feeling about the South, the Confederacy, etc. You are entitled to your opinion. I understand, you want this strong feeling to die down, you would prefer people of this inkling to lighten up. Will your strong words achieve your goal? It will have a challenge to say the least. Many will see this as a gas on a fire approach rather than the plan to win the hearts and minds of anyone. I think you feed on this argument and the last thing you want is to see anyone mellow. You want the attention.

    • Andy Hall said, on August 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm

      Gregg, thanks for commenting. I agree entirely with you on the principle of kind words. And if you read much of the blog, and particularly the comments, you’ll see that I do try to engage directly and politiely. But I’ll respond by pointing out that the only folks who should be offended by this (admittedly snarky) post are those who should be.

      Back during World War II, the famous soldier/cartoonist Bill Mauldin drew a lot of cartoon poking fun at bad officers — incompetent, pretentious, maybe a little cowardly — and caught a lot of heat for it. But as he wrote in Up Front, that never bothered him in the least, because the good officers he knew — those who weren’t incompetent, pretentious, or cowardly — never took offense, because they understood that those cartoons didn’t reflect badly on them. Mauldin said something along the lines of, “I build a shoe, and if some officer wants to put it on and proclaim loudly to the world that it’s a perfect fit, that’s his business.”

      In my own, really feeble way, that’s what I’m doing with this post, and in a larger sense, with this blog.

      So I understand that there will be folks offended by this post. But I’m not too concerned about it, because I also suspect that those who are most offended will be those about whom the description is most applicable. As I said, the folks most likely to be offended really should be, because it’s written explicitly to apply to them.

      You’re right that I want attention, and to build a readership; all bloggers do. But if all I wanted to do was write smart-alecky, inflammatory provocations, it would require a lot less time and effort than I put into it. I hope that you’ll come back again, and find at least some of what I offer here worthwhile. Because I am very interested in asking hard questions, raising uncomfortable points, pushing back against false myths, and generally engaging in a substantive discussion about a range of issues involving the Civil War.

  3. JStones said, on October 15, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Andy, and all other individuals that are satisfied with swallowing the simplistic drivel supplied you by the PC establishment, who are satisfied with the fool’s gold that has been fed you, I really feel sorry for you. The true gems of great value, known as the TRUTH, you will probably never find because you aren’t willing to do the work necessary to uncover it. I really pity those that are satisfied with anything less. Being satisfied with anything less than the whole truth, after painstakingly researching the time period and the prevailing conditions, robs you of the peace that comes from knowing that you have truly done your best to uncover that thing we should all be seeking – the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. There was a time that I, like you, was satisfied with what the PC textbooks provided but there came a time when answers were required to address the difficult questions that remain hidden to your eyesight. I urge you, dig for the truth and I can guarantee you an enlightened perspective. If you refuse to do so, and remain satisfied with your opinioon, you, among all men are to be most pitied.

  4. thomasrowleyatvermontsecession said, on January 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    While I find the definition spot on, it missed by not representing that the allies of today’s neo-Confederates, like the now moribund and mistakenly named Second Vermont Republic and its blog, Vermont Commons, as just as afflicted with the psychosis, Lincoln derangement syndrome. Perhaps the definition can be amended to the effect that the obsession is one shared by most, if not all, modern U.S. secessionist advocates like Kirkpatrick Sale, Rob Williams and (although it can now be said that his case has been permanently resolved) the recently deceased founder of SVR, Thomas H. Naylor.

  5. Laqueesha said, on July 15, 2015 at 2:08 am

    LOL, offended Neo-Confeds.

  6. Danial F. Lisarelli said, on June 22, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    It is astounding the number of people who are re-fighting the Civil War nowadays, mostly folks from the South I suppose. Little do they realize how horrible that war was but the most irrational part of it all is that there’s no one alive today who fought in it. Are they really opining for the old South and a return to slavery and human oppression? What is it that makes them so angry? It’s a never-ending cycle of anger towards someone or something that occurred 153 years ago. The country and the world have long since moved on from it. This is 2017, correct? Where’s all this anger coming from?

    • Andy Hall said, on June 22, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      Danial, I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that most of the anger and fire isn’t about the events of 1861-65 at all. It’s modern, and it’s about staking out cultural, religious, and political identity. Arguing about Bobby Lee and Uncle Billy is just a proxy.

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