Lincoln Lied, People Died

Constitution,Federalism,Founding Fathers,History,Republicans,States' Rights,War


The following is excerpted from my latest WND.COM column, “Lincoln Lied, People Died”:

“Tomorrow is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Familiar Lincoln idolaters will gather to celebrate the birth, on Feb. 12, 1809, of the 16th president of the United States and finesse his role in “the butchering business” – to use professor J. R. Pole’s turn-of-phrase. Court historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is sure to make a media appearance to extol the virtues of the president who shed the blood of brothers in great quantities and urged into existence the “American System” of taxpayer-sponsored grants of government privilege to politically connected corporations.

On publication, in 2002, of the book “The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War,” the “Church of Lincoln” gave battle. The enemy was the author, Thomas J. DiLorenzo, who had exposed Lincoln lore for the lie it was – still is. DiLorenzo had dared to examine the Great Centralizer’s role in sundering the soul of the American federal system: the sovereignty of the states and the citizenry.

Steeped as they were in the Lockean tradition of natural rights and individual liberty, the constitutional framers held that the unalienable rights to life, liberty and property were best preserved within a federal system of divided sovereignty, in which the central government was weak and most powers devolved to the states, or to the people, respectively, as stated in the 10th Amendment. If a state grew tyrannical, competition from other states – and the individual’s ability to switch allegiances by exiting the political arrangement – would create something of an agora in government. This was the framers’ genius.

The concentrated powers Lincoln sought were inimical to the founders’ loose constitutional dispensation.” …

The complete column is “Lincoln Lied, People Died,” now on WND.COM.

20 thoughts on “Lincoln Lied, People Died

  1. pacific_waters

    At last someone understands how damaging Lincoln was to this republic.

  2. bruce

    You are right in what you assert but wrong in what you deny. The war was about slavery in the sense that the election of Lincoln, based on his record, threatened the extension of slavery into the territories. This would have undermined the planter class and destroyed their power in the Senate. The rest of the white Southerners saw their native land being invaded and their way of life threatened. The Northern commercial and industrial elites sought to defeat the Southern planters. Everyone else was cannon fodder.

  3. David Smith

    Indeed, the lionizing of Lincoln has produced and continues to produce a fatal poison to our republic and the Constitution. “If Lincoln did it, then it must be good,” or something like that runs through the minds of well-meaning but ill-informed folks, slipping clean through any sort of critical analysis. As a southerner, it’s not about waving the Confederate flag or digging up Lincoln to wreak vengeance upon his wormy corpse; I believe you said it well in a column some years ago that Lincoln needs to be repudiated for the sake of the entire nation. We can’t reclaim our inheritance of ordered liberty without it. As a friend of mine said about Lincoln’s War to Prevent Southern Independence, “The Union won, but America lost.”


  4. Robert Meier

    If you look at article 1, section 9, the constitution provides for the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus. Lincoln asked congress to suspend the writ and they complied in accordance with the constition.

    An arguement can be made for waging war to keep the republic together in article IV, section 4. When the south attacked Fort Sumpter that could be construed as an act of domestic violence therefore allowing Lincoln the constitutional right to wage war against the south.

    Other than that the article appears to be historically accurate.

  5. Good Will

    It’s saddening that Lincoln’s works did not match his excellent words.

  6. Tom Waldron

    Lincoln Lied, People Died?

    Your recent article is, respectfully, a hatchet job worthy of the fellow that just left MSNBC. It skims a few details and lacks the depth of scholarship needed to understand so compassionate a man, one who writings show was devoid of hate and showed “malice toward none.”

    Being human, we all feel the need to do what we can to reach our goals. What Lincoln believed that Union was right and permanent. He believed that slavery was wrong, but legally sanctioned, yet could, legally, be put on a path to natural extinction (much like Washington and Jefferson had envisioned). This indicates that his desire to avoid bloodshed was greater than his desire for a strong executive control. His views on the blacks gradually changed over the years, with the consistent thread that they were human beings, with natural rights, and that they should exist in an environment free from exploitation or from the antagonism of the larger, non-African population.

    In another matter, I am amazed at your lack of understanding of the Emancipation Proclamation. The document is recognized as one where the executive is acting with restraint on limited authority in order to exert control in a military situation. It was a challenge to the states in rebellion to avoid further bloodshed, or, if not, to accept that the continued conflict would necessitate the absolute destruction of the slavery they sought to preserve. The political benefit to the Republicans was to energize not only the Unionist elements of the nation, but the abolishist elements as well. Diplomatically, the proclamation made intervention on the side of the sessionists extremely unpopular as it pushed the issue of slavery front and center. Governments like Great Britain could recognize the Richmond government only at the risk of losing the support of workers and others whose labor supported the industry of the nation. Without British support France would also remain on the sidelines.

    Yours is the common misreading of Lincoln, who, charged with the defense of the nation used whatever means he could to bring the carnage to an end. He may have exerted more authority than a strict reading of the constitution allowed. Yet, when pressed for a post-war policy Lincoln replied that he proposed to “let them up easy.” Like Washington, Lincoln looked forward to the day when he could shuck off the responsibilities of government and become a private citizen again. You’d be hard pressed to find supporting documentation of Lincoln setting up an arbitrarily despotic regime. At most his questionable policies seem like temporary expedients that vanish as crisis recedes.

    Except, of course, the income tax.

  7. Steve Hogan

    Words alone cannot properly describe the pure evil Lincoln unleashed. He was an elected dictator, a mass murderer, a raging hypocrite, a racist of the worst sort, and a first class con man.

    How anyone could view this cretin’s record of wanton killing and destruction and still feel like celebrating his birthday speaks volumes about the power of institutionalized propaganda coming from government schools and from academia shilling for the state.

  8. John Douglas

    Just the first of many presidents who despise the concept of a republic for lust of ’empire’ through centralized government and the power it gives them.

    We are now in a death spiral into socialism.

    If my faith was in man I would be in despair.

    John Douglas

  9. Bob Schaefer

    Society is the result of cooperation between human actors who manage to reach a consensus on how exactly the concepts of murder and theft are to be mutually defined and understood. Without such a consensus cooperation and society are impossible. From the moment Europeans colonized what is now the United States, the institution of slavery presented a real challenge to the meaning of the concepts of murder and theft as the colonists understood them at the time. Early efforts of residents of the North and South to consolidate into one, cohesive supra-cooperative society succeeded only because the Founders were able to strike a tenuous compromise on the meaning of these critical concepts. By 1860 that compromise proved unrealistic and impractical. In 1860 cooperating parties had reached an impasse. Cooperation ceased. Society cracked up.

    Lincoln, the victorious North and the conquered South reconstituted American society after the war. Gradually and painfully all residents – North and South – accepted the Northern meaning of property. Today, no one seriously advocates for property rights in enslaved human beings. Unfortunately, another notion was gradually and painfully accepted by cooperators in this new American society: the Northern notion that American cooperative society can be legitimately maintained by federal force and coercion.

    Forced cooperation is not a contradiction in terms. Societal crackup occurs when those who are forced and coerced cease to cooperate any further. If the Civil War proved anything, it proved that an intractable disagreement among long-time and intimate cooperators over the meaning of murder and theft – mutual rights to life and property – is a bloody accident waiting to happen, especially if one cooperating partner seeks to end the cooperative agreement while the other partner seeks to preserve it by means of brute force.

    Today among American cooperators political disagreements over abortion, freedom of travel, gun ownership and the proper level of taxation are becoming intractable disputes over our mutual understanding of the cooperative concepts of murder and theft. Certain elected elites in Washington think they can end these disputes by means of brute force, i.e., unconditional majority rule and martial law. They do not understand the lesson of the Civil War: that such means inevitably lead to ghastly disaster.

  10. Dan Jeffreys

    “This indicates that his desire to avoid bloodshed was greater than his desire for a strong executive control.”

    So the 600,000+ dead was just an unfortunate side affect. You know, “We had to kill all those people to save them.”

  11. Myron Pauli

    The lower South succumbed to the “fire eaters” and seceded over the issue of slavery.

    The upper South and Northern anti-abolitionists tried for forge compromises to avert a military invasion (coercion) of the South:

    Like much historical revision, the South currently justifies the Civil War and the slaughter of 600,000 on tariff and libertarian grounds, denying the slavery impetus of 1860-1861 while the Lincoln Worshippers currently justify the War on “liberating slaves” when it was done to centralize power and the Republican party agenda. Lincoln’s behavior during the Secession Crisis was a bit like Dubya’s smirkiness on Iraq:

    While Unionists like Robert E. Lee supported Compromise, Lincoln “savior of the Union??!!!” hypocritically sunk it:

    And blacks distrusted “Dishonest Abe”

    The irony is that if the Lower South had not been invaded, slavery MIGHT have been killed slowly by a combination of economic forces combined with Northern states no longer even attempting to obey the Fugitive Slave Act – but I guess we don’t get to “REWIND” history and dial a different outcome.

    Like some chemical equilibrium, 12.5% of the population got considerably more freedom and 87.5% lost freedom. Additional price: lives, limbs, and prosperity.

  12. Joe B. Gustafson

    The reason someone who’s actions caused the deaths of over 600,000 Americans is considered a hero is because the winners write the history books. Lincoln was an egotistical butcher.

  13. Kevin

    As the many comments here show, the reasons for the Civil War are many and complex. The outcome was the entrenchment of the Leviathan state and predictable loss of individual liberty.

    However, if you look at the Civil War through the lens of the Federalist Papers, it is clear that many of arguments Madison, Jay, and Hamilton gave in support of a stronger central government are still relevant (or even more relevant) and provide(d) a strong impetus to preserve the Union. No matter your opinion on Lincoln, it’s an interesting angle by which to approach it.

    Now, I am in no way lauding Lincoln. I personally think he, of all past presidents, has done the most to severely injure the Founder’s original intent. And it galls me that the average United States citizen is too stupid or lazy to look critically at the impacts of Lincoln’s actions.

    Oh well, I’ll just keep speaking heresy from the pews in the cathedral. 🙂

  14. irongalt

    Lincoln was a bastard. Thanks Ilana for exposing him.

    Any time the schools, media, and various oink institutions glorify an individual (like Lincoln, Arafat, Mandela, “Mother” Theresa, mlk, etc.) you know that they’re moral reprobates – even without finding out the details.

    @ By Tom Waldron on 02.11.11 8:23 am – “malice towards none”??? the income tax was malice towards all. Expanding the federal government, an already intolerable beast, was hardly a “temporary expedient” that “vanished”. If the states had been allowed to break off from the union, we wouldn’t have this hellish nightmare we have today.

  15. Fred & Deb

    Everything you say about Abraham Lincoln is true, and unfortunately also applies to every other U.S. president. But it wasn’t really Lincoln who was responsible for the loss of so many lives and so much of our economy, any more than any other president who’s held office. Lincoln was just a puppet, as have been all of our presidents.

    We need to stop going after our presidents and expose the true elitist rulers who control our government leaders. We’ll be doing the country a huge favor. People are so dumbed-down anymore that they believe everything the liars tell them. They desperately need to hear the truth. Lincoln wasn’t the great man we’ve been led to believe, but he was also not responsible for the civil war. He just did as he was told, and for that he got a bullet in the head. Perhaps he was feeling remorse and had a bit of a guilty conscience, as no doubt did Richard Nixon when the elitists forced him to resign.

    Nixon did nothing that was any worse than any other president has done, but he lost favor with the powerful who really control our country, and for that he paid a huge price. Lincoln paid an even bigger price, with his life. Someone once said that you don’t compromise your scruples to enter politics, YOU SELL YOUR SOUL. I believe both Lincoln and Nixon tried to buy back their souls, but it was too late. WAY too late.

  16. Daniel

    My father was an archivist and part of what he did was oral history interviews. Back about 1972 he came home from an interview with an elderly man named Eddy. He told me that When Eddy was a boy, about the year 1900, he lived in a small town in northern Wisconsin named King. Eddy’s father helped to run the “Old Soldiers Home” in King. It was full of Union veterans of the Civil War. These aging soldiers used to sit Eddy down and tell him stories about the war. Eddy told my dad the following: “They all had one thing in common. They all hated Abraham Lincoln.” It was known then, but it just didn’t make it into the history books. I was about 15 or so at the time. It made me wonder for the first time if there were things in books that weren’t true and perhaps things that should have been in books but weren’t. You are doing what my dad would have thought to be vital for the truth to be known. Thank you.

  17. lonegranger

    Lincoln Shmincoln! What you’ve demonstrated is, that, when push comes to shove, the law has no more value than a sack o’ equine residue. A law is only a suggestion regarding acceptable behavior in particular situations. As a human I may choose to obey or disregard the law depending on circumstances, expediency, or just plain orneriness!

    I offer this opinion: that almost all human intercourse is carried out in an anarchic environment and success is dependent on the chemical empathy present in human life forms. When agreement fails, winning, in the short term, is usually achieved by the greater sociopath.

    The trouble with “leaders” (who are likely all psychopathic) is that most people are followers and will relinquish their morals to a leaders authority. You might reference and extrapolate from the (in)famous Stanley Milgram experiment.

  18. Elm

    Whereas under Lincoln’s Presidency it is true Lincoln implemented the first income tax, however, it would be unfair to ignore the fact, at the insistence of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the south passed two laws which had far greater impact upon the future liberties & rights of Americans than the war time income tax which did remain temporary at that juncture of American history.

    In April 1862, The Confederate Congress met & passed two laws, one extended all enlistments for the duration of the war, the other required all able bodied white men between the ages of 18 & 35 to serve for 3 years. It was the first national draft in American history.

    “The Conscription act in one fell swoop struck down the sovereignty of the states, and trampled upon the constitutional rights & personal liberties of the citizens & arms the President with Imperial powers.” [Governor Joseph E. Brown of the Confederate State of Georgia]

  19. Robert Glisson

    1: Some Southern states wanted to stop being part of the United States and wanted to form their own country called the Confederate States. Did they have a legal right to leave the US and did Lincoln force a war against another legally constituted country or not is the question, nothing else? Some of his lies-
    1: Lincoln said he just wanted to keep the union together peacefully he lied because he refused to negotiate. The South appointed a five member commission to discuss a peaceful reconsideration for the CS to return to the Union. Lincoln refused to talk to them, even through a Representative, despite their remaining in the North throughout the war. 2: Lincoln promised to remove the tariff collecting troops in Ft. Sumner; instead he tried to reinforce the troops, thereby causing the South to remove them physically. 3: Lincoln sent letters commending Union Generals for committing atrocities against the Southern Civilian Population. Examples- General Sherman for destroying the Shenandoah Valley and the general occupying New Orleans for telling the women of New Orleans that they would be hospitable to US Army officers or he would label them ‘whores’ and turn the enlisted men on them.

  20. Mark Carlton

    The only thing needed to confirm Ilana’s thesis is to ask this question: How would Abraham Lincoln be viewed if the North had lost the war?

    The North could not have lost the war on the battlefield, but they could have lost it at the ballot box had George McClellan been elected president in 1864. There is little question that he would have negotiated a peace treaty with the South that would probably have granted the Confederacy its independence.

    This scenario is not as improbable as it may seem. In fact has certain fortuitous — such as the fall of Atlanta –- it may well have happened. History would have been kind to Lincoln had this happened.

    It is also interesting to speculate as to how history would have judged him had he not been assassinated. It was this event that turned him into a martyr and a legend. But how would his reputation have fared had he had to preside over the first four years of reconstruction?

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