(American Spectator) — From the time Abraham Lincoln entered the White House nearly a century and a half ago, there has been an anti-Lincoln tradition in American life. President John Tyler’s son, writing in 1932, seemed to speak for a silent minority: “I think he was a bad man,” wrote Lyon Gardiner Tyler, “a man who forced the country into an unnecessary war and conducted it with great inhumanity.”
Throughout his presidency Lincoln was surrounded by rivals, even among his own cabinet. Outside the White House, his many enemies included conservative Whigs, Democrats, northern copperheads and New England abolitionists. Wisconsin editor, Marcus M. Pomeroy, sniped that Lincoln was a “worse tyrant and more inhuman butcher than has existed since the days of Nero.” Shortly before his reelection Pomeroy added: “The man who votes for Lincoln now is a traitor and murderer.… And if he is elected to misgovern for another four years, we trust some bold hand will pierce his heart with dagger point for the public good.” A mild jibe compared to what southern and border state editors and politicians said about the sixteenth president.