Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 97 14:07:31 -0800
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: Keith Sullivan <KSullivan@worldnet.att.net>
THAT FOOL ABE LINCOLN REMINDS YOU OF IDAHO
-- By Bill Hall, Lewiston, Idaho, Tribune, March 25, 1990
Abraham Lincoln had a hand in the creation of Idaho and he kept the South in
the union. He was wrong on both counts.
In the first place, from a civil rights standpoint, Lincoln's Civil War was
wrong. Any American should be free to come and go. Any people who wanted
to leave this country especially southern bigots should have been shown the
door. It's the American way even the Confederate way. Lincoln treated the
South the way Gorbachev is treating Lithuania.
You can't keep a spouse in a rotten marriage. You can't legally make a
grown child stay in your home. And you shouldn't be able to keep a bunch of
rednecks in a civilized nation if they're unhappy with the partnership. If
Mississippi wanted to go be another country, then Lincoln should have been
pleased to let it it go. America would have had more brotherhood and lower
humidity without it.
You have to admit, it is strange that the same president who freed black
slaves from white bondage went to war to force the southern states to remain
on the federal plantation. So Americans have Abraham Lincoln, the Great
Incarcerator, to thank for everything from Sen. Jesse Helms to Lyndon
Johnson to tobacco and lung cancer.
And of course, Idaho is a state that makes about as much sense as wrapping
Louisiana, North Dakota, Mississippi and Utah together in the same country.
Congress was as misguided when it created Idaho, wrapping what should have
been portions of Utah, Oregon and Washington together into one ridiculous,
Actually, Lincoln started this mess in somewhat the opposite direction. The
territory of Idaho that he approved was spread all over the Northwest. It
was only after he died that Idaho was reduced to a collection of its most
incompatible portions. So maybe we shouldn't blame Lincoln quite so much as
that affable oaf Benjamin Harrison who, in some sort of a stupor, signed
Idaho statehood legislation 100 years ago.
Nonetheless, Lincoln comes most to mind when you think of the entire state
of Idaho (which I try not to do) because he opposed secession the same
solution that would cure what ails Idaho.
Let's face it: The people of northern Idaho and southern Idaho don't belong
together. Nothern Idahoans are more like the rest of America than the
southern Idahoans are. That's why we cringe when we see the state featured
on national television for this or that leap backward toward the simple
myths of yesteryear:
''And today in Idaho, the state legislature voted to affirm its belief that
the Earth is flat, cold air rises and water runs uphill.''
And if you live in Idaho, both theories are tempting. The highest places in
Idaho are the coldest. And if you look at a map, you will see that the
Snake River runs from the bottom of the state to the top, before exhausting
its strength and staggering off sideways into Washington.
So water runs uphill in southern Idaho and sideways in this part of the state.
And of course, the clocks in southern Idaho run backward. Take women, for
instance. And a lot of Idahoans don't want to. The rest of the nation is
(in the spirit of Abe Lincoln) trying to emancipate women.
In Idaho, we are getting them back under control. The vote in the
legislature the other day to pass the toughest abortion law in the nation
was a reaffirmation of the traditional Idaho belief that women, the little
airheads, are happier when kept barefoot and pregnant. (The legislature is
now considering the toughest law in the nation on outlawing the purchase of
shoes by married women.)
I was born in this state so I guess that's why I have such a sore spot in my
heart for Abe Lincoln. He not only butted in just when Jesse Helms' grandpa
was getting ready to do us all the great favor of leaving America, but he
also allowed the fools of that day to attach northern Utah to the real Idaho
and call it a new state.
The trite solution to this festering perversion is the periodic suggestion
that the North secede from southern Idaho.
Nuts to that. We were here first. The first capital of Idaho was two
blocks down the street from where I sit. Southern Idaho somehow managed
to attach itself to that. And the pan has been wagging the handle ever
To hell with the North seceding from the South. Let the South rise again
and secede from Idaho.
That meddler Lincoln is dead. This time, it might stick.
© 1997 Peter Langston