From the November 29th, 2007 issue of The Buchtelite, the college newspaper for the University of Akron (Ohio), comes a somewhat amazing political opinion piece. The author, one Branden Szabo, twists historical facts about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era to make a point about the low approval ratings for George W. Bush.
Mr. Szabo "explains" to his readers how Lincoln "started his own unpopular war" in an attempt to equate Bush and Lincoln. As any fifth-grader can tell us, Lincoln did not start the Civil War. Young Mr. Szabo seems to forget a little something called "Fort Sumter," whose bombardment by Confederate forces was the first military action of the war. To claim that Lincoln began that war is historically inaccurate, no matter one's particular opinion of Lincoln himself.
Next, the writer of the piece goes on to quote Clement Vallandigham, the Ohio congressman who was deported to the Confederacy. Mr. Szabo states that Vallandigham was a "governor of Ohio." Well, no. Vallandigham was a Democrat candidate for governor of Ohio, but was defeated in a landslide in 1863 by War Democrat John Brough . He did indeed oppose the war and Lincoln in very strong speeches, which is why he was deported to the South, but he was not governor.
Mr. Szabo's opinion is that history will judge President Bush kindly for his actions regarding Iraq , just as it has Abraham Lincoln, who was hated by many during his life. That may or may not be true and only time will tell. Szabo has a right to his opinion, but he also has a responsibility to present historical facts accurately in stating that opinion.
As a graduate of the University of Akron, I am disappointed in The Buchtelite and its editorial staff for not insisting on stricter standards for what is usually a fine collegiate newspaper.