GOP lawmaker used fake Lincoln quotes, says he thought they sounded like something he’d say

People make mistakes with quotes all the time. If I had a dollar for every time I’d seen the quote “Well-behaved women seldom make history” to Marilyn Monroe I’d be pretty wealthy. But, duh, it was Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. I know this because it was on a mug I had as a child. People also always think that in “Casablanca,” Ingrid Bergman says “Play it again, Sam.” She does not. She says “Play it Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.'”

However, one would think that if they were doing something more significant than posting something “inspirational” to Facebook or Tumblr, they would check to make sure that they were attributing their quotes to the right person. Like say if they were trying to show up the President of the United States.

Arizona gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Al Melvin (R), took to Twitter last week, armed with what he thought were quotes by Abraham Lincoln, in an attempt to criticize President Obama.


However, Lincoln never said either of those things. William J. H. Boetcker, an early 20th century conservative theologian did. Ronald Reagan was also fond of misattributing these quotes to Lincoln.

Melvin stated that he got the quotes from a GOP newsletter and said that “It seemed like it was something that he would say.” Which it actually really doesn’t, but that is beside the point.

This is something we can all learn from. We live in the age of Google. If Melvin had simply taken a minute to Google the phrase “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong” he would have found its correct source, as well as a Snopes page explaining that Abraham Lincoln never said that. However, I don’t think people like Melvin are as concerned with accuracy as they are concerned about the idea of great people from the past totally agreeing with them.