Apr 01 2010

The Right’s Library of Fake Quotes

Putting words in dead people’s mouths


Abraham Lincoln despised class warfare, Thomas Jefferson detested bailouts and the founders of the nation were all Bible-believing Christians. These are among the historical “facts” you’ll learn as a regular consumer of talk radio, Fox News and other conservative sources. While non-conservatives have been known to misquote historical figures to add credibility to their own views, the right seems to have a special enthusiasm for putting words in dead people’s mouths. Take what has become known as the “The Ten Cannots,” a list repeatedly misattributed to Abraham Lincoln. It begins: You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot […]