Abraham Lincoln, as most of us were told in Mr. Smith’s 9th-grade history class, was a God-sent savior, a brilliant, articulate, and diversity-loving individual, and the Messiah of the great "Union." Most of us were brainwashed on enchanting quotations from the "great man from the little log cabin." This week celebrates his birthday, and may he be remembered for what he truly was. So let me begin a short and biased Lincoln diatribe, and may it rattle Abe’s grave and leave him forever unsettled.
Lincoln was a ruthless dictator of the most contemptible sort. A conniving and manipulative man, and a scoundrel at heart, he was nowhere near what old guard historians would have us believe.
Lincoln has been transformed into the indomitable icon of the American Union. But yet, this beast ruled the country by presidential decree, exercised dictatorial powers over a free people, and proceeded to wage war without a declaration from Congress. Lincoln blocked Southern shipping ports, justifying his actions by saying "he would enforce all laws and collect all revenues due the North." The blockades were an act of war. He set his Northern Army upon the South at Fort Sumter, and set in motion one of the most brutal attacks ever upon freedom by maneuvering the South into firing the first shot at their Northern aggressors.
However, Mr. Smith’s textbook would have us believe that Lincoln was a preservationist of sorts, a man dedicated to preserving the grandeur of State ideals. Most 9th-graders don’t have the intellect to ask what is so glorious about State ideals. Instead, they absorb just enough to make it into ignorant adulthood. In fact, if they had questioned these teachings, they would have discovered that Lincoln was a consummate con man, manipulator, and a State-serving miscreant.
In the march through Georgia during Lincoln’s War of Northern Aggression, he and Sherman carved out a murderous campaign, maiming innocent civilians and setting a precedent for the next century’s bloody genocides that followed. A fine exemplar was he, the Communists might say.
As if the pure evil of the war to subjugate the Southern states struggling for independence was not unscrupulous enough, Lincoln was hardly the watchman of the black race as portrayed by Mr. Smith’s ninth-grade history text, either. Lincoln had no fondness for the black man, and in fact, often spoke with the candor of that which would make him a modern-day racist of satanic proportions.
As Lincoln scholar Tom DiLorenzo points out, Lincoln believed there was an inherent inequality between the black and white race, and held a conviction that a "superior position" should be assigned to the white man over the black man due to this political and social inequality. David Duke was forever browbeaten for muttering anything even resembling this.
Any good historian at least understands that his goal was not to free the slaves, as DiLorenzo correctly states. In 1862, Lincoln published a letter stating, "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union."
Lincoln was the darling candidate of the moneyed industrialists of the North. At the core of his political tenets was a government of high import taxes, and his Republican party, whom he lead, passed the Morrill tariff into law soon after taking office. To quote DiLorenzo, Lincoln "even promised in his First Inaugural Address to launch an invasion of any state that failed to collect its share of tariffs." He was committing himself to collecting customs in the South, even if that meant they would secede. The free-market economics of the South were up for assault.
Lincoln signed ten more tariff-raising bills throughout his agonizing administration. He manipulated the American public into the first income tax, he handed out huge land grants and monetary subsidies to transcontinental railroads (corporate welfare), and he took the nation off the gold standard, allowing the government to have absolute control over the monetary system. Then, he virtually nationalized the banking system under the National Currency Acts in order to establish a machine for printing new money at will and to provide cheap credit for the business elite. This mercantilist tyrant ushered in central banking, our greatest economic curse to this day.
Furthermore, his "New Army" and the slaughter effort on the South put into motion an unprecedented profusion of federal coercion against free citizens, both North and South. By way of conscription, he assembled a vast army by presidential decree, an act of flagrant misconduct which drafted individuals into slavery to the federal government. Additionally, any war dissenters or advocates of a peaceful settlement with the South were jailed, and, as even Mr. Smith knows, Habeus Corpus was abolished for the duration of the war. He then tossed into the slammer as many as 30,000 civilians WITHOUT due process of law for reasons of criticizing the Lincoln administration, and suppressed HUNDREDS of newspapers that did not support his war effort.
After his Army stopped secession in its tracks, Lincoln created provisional courts sympathetic to Northern aggression, invented the office of Military Governor, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which became a propaganda tool for historians in later years, though it did not free the slaves in Northern-controlled areas.
All said, Lincoln was a ruthless dictator and he set the precedent for what is known as the "Imperial Presidency." He was the most evil, damaging, aggressive, abominable, and destructive president ever to defy American liberty. Happy Birthday, Abe.
Karen De Coster is a politically incorrect CPA, and an MA student in economics at Walsh College in Michigan.