What to do, what to do?
Several weeks ago I posted a link to Ron Paul’s comments on Abraham Lincoln on NBC’s Meet The Press. I did so because so many people in the blogosphere and on various internet newsgroups were talking about it, and I thought it was useful for people to have a chance to see it. Paul’s comments seemed to me to be so bizarre and uninformed that they did not merit commentary, let alone refutation (much the same can be said of Andrew Napolitano’s comments about Lincoln, which I found equally bizarre).
However, recently I came across the following comment pointing people to my post: “he didn’t condemn it so we can only assume by disseminating it he supports [.]“ Setting aside the fact that this is evidently a fine mind at work, I raise a more serious question I have thought about before: what is the obligation of the professional historian when s/he comes across such mindless claptrap (from all three people, Paul, Napolitano, and the fine mind)? Do we stand up and object? Do we take it apart in a detailed examination, in the process setting aside our own work to reveal the flawed history behind such assertions? Do we ignore it? If we pay attention to it, what is the most effective way to broadcast our views? I seek your input.