August 14, 2007, - 11:23 am

Honest Abe’s Face Analyzed – WHY?

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”:

Abraham Lincoln’s Face: The Latest Takedown of a Great American

The defect joins a long list of ailments–including smallpox, heart illness, and depression–that modern doctors have diagnosed in Lincoln.

(Emphasis added.)
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?

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15 Responses

Yet, the Fourth Estate did as much as it could to hide the fact from the American people that FDR was a paraplegic.
Yet, the Fourth Estate continues to hide the fact from the American people that JFK had persistent digestive problems, chronic back problems that required the use of a back brace, and Addison’s disease – a life-threatening lack of adrenal function…just to name a few.
Disclosed medical files covering the last eight years of Kennedy’s life, including X-rays and prescription records, show that he took painkillers, antianxiety agents, stimulants and sleeping pills, as well as hormones to keep him alive, with extra doses in times of stress.
The Fourth Estate also never pressured Bill Klintoon to release his medical records – something every American president has done.

Thee_Bruno on August 14, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Part of a near-pathological tendency to ignore the duty to study history, to purge or prevent understandings of American civic institutions.

Jeremiah on August 14, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Debbie, as you noted: “Attacking Lincoln’s face and eyes as your life’s work is really kind of sad.” Indeed, it’s even more than that — it’s pathetic. Another POS liberal “educator” slamming someone of vastly greater intelligence, of enormously more importance to the history and current fabric of this country than you will ever be, a person without whom we would almost certainly be two nations today, one free and one slave-holding (at least well into the early 20th Century).
Since you can’t hold a candle (not even a little bitty votive) to Abraham Lincoln, Herr Doktor Fishman, shut the hell up and do some kind of real work as Ms. Schlussel has suggested — who knows, you might actually do something to benefit mankind, like find a cure for glaucoma, instead of wasting your life trying to “one-up” a man whose jock-strap you are utterly unqualified to hold, to use a modern metaphor.
What a pathetic little piss-ant! Shove your research where the sun don’t shine, Herr Doktor — the perfect place for it, and for your miserable excuse of an existence.

theendisnear on August 14, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Wow. Really? This is where you’re going with this story?
I admit that I too questioned the importance or reason behind even conducting this study in the first place, but I highly doubt that it’s attempt to discredit the guy in anyway. It’s common knowledge that Lincoln did a ton of great things, and from my personal experiences he’s been admired from all sides from the political spectrum.
I mean I really think you’re going out on a limb here. The use of the word “defect” is commonly used in medical terminology, and is used legitimately, and with out prejudice to describe exactly that..a defect of some sort. Whether it be mental, genetic, physical, it can be defective.
In this case, it was a facial deformation, which as you pointed out, may have been due to an injury with a horse. But I don’t see anywhere in the article where people are attacking him for it. They do mention that his political opposition used it as a means to pick on him, which is extremely childish–and, unfortunately, not surprising seeing as how they’re politicians.
Really, I think you’re making something out of nothing here. I’ve read several different articles on the issue, and again, not one of them made me feel like President Lincoln was anything less than a true hero.
Perhaps it takes a certain level of maturity, which is apparently absent in some, to use a term like “defect” or “retard” in a medical sense rather than a “school-yard taunt” sense.

ConservativesLovePuns(descent) on August 14, 2007 at 2:23 pm

By the way, I understand that “retard” was not used in the article, but I’m using it as an example of how a perfectly benign term used to describe persons who suffer from certain medical conditions has been perverted and turned into an insult.

ConservativesLovePuns(descent) on August 14, 2007 at 2:26 pm

…..right. Out of all of the things I said you picked the least relevant one to refute.
As I had mentioned, I said that only to show how a word that is often used to describe afflictions similar to “defects” has also been perverted into a cruel, ignorant insult. Perhaps I should have chose a different word, but my point still stands:
The word “defect”, if used in a medical sense should not be construed as a negative thing. I also feel that since the word was not used in a cruel or rude manner in the article that it is childish to say that it was used with the intentions to discredit or insult someone. To insist that it is, in this context, would be similar to reading an article or publication on dog breeding and insisting that the term “bitch” was being used a derogatory manner. I feel that as adults, we should be mature enough to distinguish these types of situations and not make a fuss about them.

ConservativesLovePuns(descent) on August 14, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Uh…gee. They’re studying dead guys instead of caring for the living, that’s why I am waiting 45 minutes past my appointment time to see the doctor!

P. Aaron on August 14, 2007 at 5:51 pm

The guy was shot point driving a massive caliber projectile through one side of his head to the other and there is a defect with his face evidenced by the subsequent death mask? Good work! What’s next? How babies are made?
The last guy to see Lincoln’s face did not die until 1964! He saw Lincoln’s face when the Springfield residents opened his casket (out of morbid curiosity and poor taste) before moving it to the cement encased grave where it rests today. One of the insiders with the project took his son out of school for the event hence the 1964 death of the last person to see his face. Not one of the twenty people that viewed his well preserved embalmed face, nor the kid who had an entire lifetime to think about it, commented on one side being bigger than the other. IDIOTS!!

code7 on August 14, 2007 at 5:52 pm


steve ventry on August 14, 2007 at 10:08 pm

I see it as yet another attempt (this is just the beginning I’ll bet) to rewrite history, and make America “the bad guy.” Notice the current movie on HBO depicting the nuclear bomb drops in Japan, don’t go anywhere close to relaying WHY the bomb was dropped in the first place? It’s part of the agenda to vilify America, and it’s history.

CaptShady on August 14, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Here here, Debbie! He was a great man, and a great leader. Very Presidential!

Freudianslippers on August 14, 2007 at 11:29 pm

“Will they be studying Bill’s and Hillary’s faces?”
Which ones? they have far too many to count…

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