Although Lincoln has a nice memorial in Washington, he was a thoroughgoing authoritarian, even more so than Donald Trump. From James Bovard at mises.org;
President Trump has outraged legions of political opponents with his plan to give a Fourth of July speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. A Washington Post columnist frets that Trump’s speech will leave a “stain” that “won’t ever completely wash away.” But before any more teeth-gnashing occurs, we should recognize the surprising parallels between Trump and President Lincoln.
Trump sparked an uproar in 2017 by tweeting derisively about the “so-called judge” who blocked his order severely restricting immigration from seven nations. Twitter was not around in the 1860s so Lincoln never took online swipes at the judiciary. However, when Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney ruled in 1861 that Lincoln had no right to suspend habeas corpus along a railroad corridor, Lincoln ignored his decision. The following year, Lincoln greatly expanded the suspension, resulting in the arrest and military trials of people who had done nothing more than insult the president. Up to 15,000 northerners became political prisoners as a result of Lincoln’s orders.
Trump mortifies the press corps and millions of non-ink-stained wretches when he denounces that the media is “the enemy of the American people.” Lincoln refrained from such rude comments during his four years in the White House. However, on May 18, 1864, Lincoln issued an executive order for “arrest and imprisonment of irresponsible newspaper reporters and editors” after the New York World and Journal of Commerce published an incorrect report on a pending expansion of conscription. Lincoln forcibly shut down 300 newspapers in the North that were insufficiently supportive of military policies and hundreds of editors, publishers, and reporters were tossed into prison without charges.