Friday, February 24, 2012

Fight of the Week RESULTS: Washington vs. Lincoln

The Bullet Points

- Life Experience. Lincoln was hardened by life on the American frontier. He spent most of his notable life as a lawyer, but also served in the military (without seeing any real action) before entering law and then politics. Washington, born a Colonial American, was also something of a frontiersman, looking to become a planter before becoming a messenger for the then British army. At the start of the French and Indian War, he was commissioned into the military and would eventually become the figurehead of the American Revolution. If the argument is about a fight, Washington has the battle-hardened experience which Lincoln does not.

- Warfare and tactics. While Lincoln utilized the new technology of the day, the telegraph, to become the first President to command a war exclusively from his offices, Washington was a battlefield commander. Granted, he wasn’t always at the front once he became a commanding officer, but he rode along with his boys on more than one occasion. While Lincoln essentially created the “central command” aspect of the military, Washington helped to break the traditional Rules of Engagement and, through his experience fighting the French and Indians, created the beginnings of American guerilla warfare. I’m thinking that this is starting to be a very slanted comparison.

- Monuments. I’m thinkin’ Lincoln here. Giant statue of yourself forever enshrined in a Parthenon-like structure versus a huge white phallus sticking abruptly out of the ground? Ok, so Washington’s is bigger. Fine. But, Lincoln’s is the one everyone thinks about when you say “Presidential monument”. Having been there, I will say that one gets a more reverent feeling walking into the Lincoln Memorial. Just my opinion.
On the other hand, Washington has both the nation’s capital and a whole state named after him, plus a TON of small towns, schools, and colleges. Lincoln has the nickname of Illinois, logs, and a handful of towns with at least one city. Much more important than any tactile monuments.

-Cinematic Portrayal. Washington has always been something of a myth. There hasn't been one real stand-out portrayal of him in cinema. Even when he's included in a movie, he's usually in the background just to let you know that he's there and he's a badass and that's all you need to know. Lincoln, on the other hand, seems to be everywhere. I think Lincoln definitely gets the upper hand here, as he's got Daniel Day Lewis playing him seriously in one upcoming movie and he's slaying vampires to preserve the Union in another. Not to mention the Bill and Ted Lincoln. Party on, dudes.

In the end, I think it comes down to the fact that, while both of them had seen hardship, Washington was a true warrior. Lincoln may have been a brain, but he never proved that he was any kind of brawn outside of a vampire killing semi-autobiographical movie or internet meme photoshop jobs of cyber-steampunk Lincoln carrying an assault rifle riding on the back of a bear. They're out there, go find them.


Vote Winner – Washington (9 – 4)

Debate Winner – Washington

Overall Winner – George Washington

Fight of the Week is written by Justin Bidula

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