Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pat Buchanan's take on Lincoln's War

Pat Buchanan is riling up the Republicans who live in praise of Lincoln, and the Democrats who live in praise of Obama - Lincoln reborn (apparently).

There was a post in THE CHRONICLE MAGAZINE questioning how responsible Mr. Lincoln's war actually was for the continent.

A good read - This is the stance that I took during my Advanced American Studies course regarding the Civil War period... it really pleased me to watch my instructor and liberal classmates squirm when I questioned the idol status of Mr Lincoln, and the Heraldry of the Northern Soldiers - while they equally demonized my ancestors who so nobly fought for independence from tyranny.

As I said in my previous post, Mr Lincoln clearly had an impact on the reconstruction of these United States... The Southern Rebellion and Reconstruction era marked the death of the truest and purest meaning of the 9th and 10th amendment to the constitution, and replaced them with the inferred understanding of "perpetual union" - a phrase which existed in the Articles of Confederation, but which were purposefully left out of the Constitution. Historical texts would indicate that some founding fathers wanted it in, and revisionist historians would lead you to believe that this "inferred" right of the Union trumped the right of secession.

There is a fundamental question that I have to ask folks on this topic - which document guides their philosophy: the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States?

If it is the Constitution, great - you are dedicated to the rule of law, regardless of how imperfect that law may be - it is a document subject to change - for better or worse - take special note of prohibition... a constitutional amendment banning alcohol, leading to one of the greatest eras of organized crime, and alcoholic consumption!

If it is the Declaration, better! This document is unchanging - boldly giving the finger to the King of England. The words declare that ultimate freedom and liberty beat in the hearts of every man... The words have remained unchanged for nearly two and a half centuries... and will remain ever unchanged. The truth was written that day.

I can usually gage the caliber of character by the way that an individual answers this question... though I hold my cards very close to my chest...

Please read Mr Buchanan's interesting question on the idolatry of Lincoln, and question Liberty - as it has been taught to us... does it meet the definition of Liberty on which this country began its first rebellion?


  1. Snaggle Tooth JonesFebruary 12, 2009 at 4:43 PM

    Well, the Declaration is the "charter document" or "manifesto" of the First War of Independence, a Lockean proclamation more or less, whereas the Constiutional is the foundational legal document of the later federalist order that superseded the Articles of Confederation.

    In our view, the Jaffa school and other defenders of Lincoln read the Declaration as an apology for egalitarianism, when it is actually, when read in context, a statement of the rationale of secession. The League of the South's Mike Tuggle presents a concise but compelling argument for this here:

    Regarding the Constitution, to the extent that the Jaffians et al. depart from strict constructionism and also defend certain constitutional amendments passed in the wake of the War Between the States, they show themselves to be more like liberals than true conservatives, "federalists" in the bad sense of the word. I'd write more, but I gotta run.

  2. Snaggle-Tooth JonesFebruary 13, 2009 at 3:52 PM

    One of the best comments yet at Chronicles "Week of Lincoln" series:

    “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!
    I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them,
    The good is oft interred with their bones;
    So let it be with Caesar.”

    These words of Shakespeare through the mouth of Mark Anthony could have been said of Lincoln, both the good and the bad. No matter how good his intentions or motives - subjective dependent upon your ideology as the posts above attest - the evil of his actions are not debatable and have lived on for 150 years in the form of ‘democratic holy wars’ seen today as a justification for neo-con crusades in the Middle East; condoning death by the military of innocent civilians seen in Iraq, Vietnam and WWII as ‘collateral damage’; the suspension of civil liberties in the form of GWB’s Patriot Act and other innumerable government invasions of citizen’s privacy over the past 150 years; and finally the mass importation of poor and illiterate foreigners as ’slave’ labor for the war machine and as cannon fodder for foreign wars.

    There is no moral calculus that justifies over 600,000 killed and 400,000 wounded in the War between the States based upon a novel interpretation of the founding documents since state secession was a right understood by all the founders. We can lay all of the above at the feet of Lincoln as his everlasting Machiavellian legacy to the USA and mankind.