August 14, 2007, - 11:23 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Associated Press is getting a lot of play as is Archives of Ophthalmology out of a study of Abraham Lincoln’s face, “Lincoln’s Craniofacial Microsomia: Three-dimensional Laser Scanning of 2 Lincoln Life Masks.”
The study, appearing in the August issue of the magazine, claims:
Laser scans of two life masks, made from plaster casts of Lincoln’s face, reveal the 16th President’s unusual degree of facial asymmetry. The left side of Lincoln’s face was much smaller than the right, an aberration called cranial facial microsomia.
The AP article calls it a “defect”:
The defect joins a long list of ailments–including smallpox, heart illness, and depression–that modern doctors have diagnosed in Lincoln.
So what? What does this tell us about Lincoln? Absolutely nothing. The man was a great President, one of the greatest. They tried attacking him with a theory that he was gay. That didn’t stick. They tried to attack him by saying that he didn’t fight the civil war for the right reasons or free slaves because he really cared about their freedom.
Now, they’re telling us Lincoln was “defective”–attacking his face, saying that it was unusually asymmetrical, so he’s somehow deformed and, in their eyes, less worthy.
And it’s nothing new. When I was a kid and first visited the Lincoln Memorial, the tour guide told us that if you look at one half of Lincoln, he looks tough and stern, but if you look at the other half–from the face on down–he looks merciful.
Dr. Ronald Fishman, who led the study, is claiming that
Lincoln’s left eye at times drifted upward independently of his right eye, a condition now termed strabismus. Lincoln’s smaller left eye socket may have displaced a muscle controlling vertical movement. . . . Most people’s faces are asymmetrical, but Lincoln’s case was extreme, withthe bony ridge over his left eye rounder and thinner than the right side, and set backward.
So, they’re trying to tell us Lincoln was a weirdo? A carnival act? Who cares if he had this eye condition? While that may be interesting to some, it’s entirely irrelevant to his Presidency and to Lincoln, the man.
Regardless, he was kicked in the head by a horse. And even Fishman admits laser scans can’t prove whether Lincoln’s facial condition was caused by that (or whether he was born with the condition).
Enough is enough. It’s really grown tiresome–the liberal attacks on Lincoln and other great figures in American history.
I really wish Dr. Ronald Fishman could find something more worthy to study, like helping living Americans get proper eyecare or discovering an effective cure for glaucoma.
Attacking Lincoln’s face and eyes as your life’s work is really kind of sad.
President Lincoln’s tremendous contributions to America are what’s important. The structure of his face is just bones.
Will they be studying Bill’s and Hillary’s faces?
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, America, Archives of Ophthalmology, Associated Press, Debbie Schlussel, depression, glaucoma, great President, heart illness, Laser, Lincoln Memorial, President, Ronald Fishman, smallpox, strabismus, tour guide