Lincoln's Bicentennial birthday

They made pretty good historiographers out of us kids.

In the classrooms where portraits of Washington and Lincoln were hung we knew one big thing about Lincoln by the time we reached sixth grade: Lincoln freed the slaves.

"They" understood that to be all you needed to know about Lincoln, the sign and seal of his greatness, his place.

He didn't need to be a bigtime boxer, an excellent general, a managerial genius, a champion rose grower, or a political philosopher for the ages. Lincoln freed the slaves.

The genius in this is that it doesn't compel you to vilify his political enemies, to slander his generals, to spin out rationalizations to cover his monumental errors and bad judgement. No, because you're done. You laid down ace of trump in the statesman game. You can go home now.

For the pygmies tormenting us with endless sixth grade civics lessons this year, learn something about Lincoln: he freed the slaves.