Taking the Words Out of Their Mouths
Another hit in the credibility department for the antiwar Left. From today’s Star Tribune, an article on various quotes misattributed to Abraham Lincoln:
"There's no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There's nothing good in war except its ending." -- Attributed to Lincoln by antiwar protesters earlier this year, the statement was made by an actor portraying Lincoln in an episode of "Star Trek."
Ouch. I’m not sure a more damning qualification exists in the English language than the foundation of your argument rests upon .... a statement made by an actor portraying Lincoln in an episode of Star Trek?
All things considered, I’d prefer to have my rhetoric attributed to Charo doing a guest appearance on the Love Boat. Or for that matter an actor portraying Lincoln during an episode of the Love Boat (at least it’s the same millennium and according to reports, Lincoln did love playing shuffleboard.)
Perhaps you’re wondering just what The Great Emancipator was up to, roaming about the far reaches of the galaxy hundreds of years after his alleged death? The plot summary, from the episode entitled “The Savage Curtain”:
The Enterprise is surveying the planet Excalbia when Abraham Lincoln appears on the viewscreen and is quickly beamed aboard. Lincoln invites Kirk and Spock to the planet, where they encounter Surak, father of Vulcan philosophy. Then a rock creature named Yarnek comes alive and explains its race has no conception of good or evil and wants to find out which is stronger. These four good beings will have to fight four evil figures from history: Genghis Khan, Colonel Green (leader of a genocidal war on Earth in the 21st century), Kahless the Unforgettable and Zora (who experimented with the body chemistry of subject tribes on Tiburon).
I guess in context, it doesn’t seem so absurd after all (!!?!).
But now that the quote has been exposed by Lincoln scholars as fiction, it can’t continue to be used with the same gravitas. Unless it turns out that the actor portraying Lincoln on Star Trek was some sort of genius in his own right. And with role selection choices like that, who can say?
But luckily for the anti-Bush crowd, the collected works of the rock creature Yarnek is full of authentic slogan-related gold. Plus his moral relativism fits in perfectly with their abiding philosophy. I can already see this on a sign being waved at the next protest on the Capitol Mall:
Kirk: What gives you the right to hand out life and death?
Yarnek: The same right that brought you here - the need to know new things.
Or is that just a little too “on the nose”?