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Showing posts with label Abraham Lincoln. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Abraham Lincoln. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and the Fragility of Freedom

From The Daily Signal
By Justin D. Lyons

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill and the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln—two men whose lives and achievements shed light on the fragility of freedom and the statesmanship necessary to preserve it.

As noted in my recent essay, “Champion of Liberty: Winston Churchill and His Message to America,” both were leaders of democracies in wartime and had to make the case their causes were worth fighting for, resistance was both sensible and praiseworthy, and citizens should prefer struggle and sacrifice over capitulation. Both men connected the life of their regimes compellingly to a noble cause.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lincoln and Justice for All

From First Things
By Allen C. Guelzo

“Justice and fairness” has become something of a mantra ever since presidential candidate Barack Obama told Joe the plumber that his hope was to “spread the wealth around” so that the economy is “good for everybody.” The plumber, Samuel Wurzelbacher, was less than thrilled by the implications of spreading the wealth, since his fear was that much of the wealth the president-to-be proposed to spread around was the plumber’s. But that has done nothing to give pause to President Obama’s determination to answer the “call to justice and fairness.” In his 2009 Lincoln’s Birthday speech in Abraham Lincoln’s hometown of Springfield, Illinois, the president described justice and fairness—the “sense of shared sacrifice and responsibility for ourselves and one another”—as “the very definition of being American.”

Abraham LincolnPerhaps. But that was not Abraham Lincoln’s definition of justice or fairness or “being American.” And our current president’s failure to see that gives us an uneasy sense that Barack Obama has wrapped himself in some other man’s coat.

Lincoln certainly had more than a little to say about justice. After all, he was a lawyer by profession. “My way of living leads me to be about the courts of justice,” he joked in 1848, although what he saw happening there wasn’t always justice. “I have sometimes seen a good lawyer, struggling for his client’s neck, in a desperate case, employing every artifice to work round, befog, and cover up, with many words, some point arising in the case, which he dared not admit, and yet could not deny.” And in politics, which was his other great vocation, he had seen how often “the immutable principles of justice are to make way for party interests, and the bonds of social order are to be rent in twain, in order that a desperate faction may be sustained at the expense of the people.”

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Abraham Lincoln's America

By Chuck Baldwin

America just celebrated Presidents Day this past Monday. What first began as an observance for President George Washington has (since the 1980s) morphed into the generic "Presidents Day," which is a politically correct celebration of mediocrity that forces our nation's greatest President to be lumped together with incompetents such as Ulysses S. Grant, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter.

On the occasion of Presidents Day, a USA Today/Gallup poll asked the American people to select the greatest President. The top five Presidents, according to the Gallup poll, are (in order): Ronald Reagan, John Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and George Washington.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lincoln: Two Virginians, Two Views

From The Daily News Record

Forget the "Glorious Cause" Myth
By George Wead

After 1865, influential Southerners constructed myths of noble Confederate warriors who fought to maintain their courtly traditions.

This helped Southern whites deal with their defeat and impoverishment in a war they had been sure they were going to win. Southern historians gave the cause a professional gloss, and the myth was encapsulated in D.W. Griffith's movie "The Birth of a Nation" (1915), which now looks ridiculous.

The basic premises of the Lost Cause are: (1) Southern independence, not slavery, prompted the war; (2) we were betrayed by Lincoln, who wrote his Emancipation Proclamation to win an election; and (3) we were beaten down by the overwhelming numbers of Grant and Sherman, who burned and raped our homeland.

Ritchie and Price make these arguments because, like me, they were raised on them. And they’re right: it’s time we all did more reading. Try "This Mighty Scourge" by James McPherson, a Pulitzer-prized historian who brings a terrible weapon to bear on the myth of the Lost Cause: facts.

The existence of slavery was not an issue of the war; expanding slave territory was. If Lincoln could have stopped war by letting slavery remain as it was, he would have. But that wasn’t enough. Alexander Stephens, the Confederate vice-president, echoed other Southern leaders when he said that "slavery, subordination to the superior race, is (the negro’s) natural and normal condition," and the South wanted that "moral truth" expanded into new territories. Lincoln wrestled with the political wisdom of emancipation until inspired by the Union’s victory at Antietam.

The war started at Fort Sumter, as we’re aware. But we may not know that when Lincoln advised Jefferson Davis he was sending an unarmed fleet with supplies for the besieged fort, Davis ordered the Confederates to open fire before the fleet arrived. Thus, Southern arrogance started the war and cost us mightily. It was Lee’s army, not Grant’s or Sherman’s, that had the highest casualty rates.

In "The Hard Hand of War," Mark Grimsley's careful research makes it clear that the killing or rape of white civilians in the South by Union soldiers was extremely rare. Of course, Sherman burned crops and houses. He was trying to win a war that the South had started.

We should lay aside desperate beliefs and consider the results of cooler research. Unfortunately, some research suggests that this isn’t our way. American psychologist James Garabino proposed to a conference in England this month that Southern culture has been influenced by a large population of Scots who are quick to bear long grudges.

In 1861 Scots were more than half our population. Garabino’s theory, which is contested, of course, would explain why to this day we keep rising up in bitter anger over the Civil War.

Maybe it’s time to let up. Admit it. We lost. Accept the fact as our forefathers accepted the horses Grant let them keep after Appomattox.

The Yankees whipped us fair and square. The Union won. Time to go home. Be Americans.

George Wead is a resident of Bridgewater, Virginia.

Lincoln Was No Friend Of Freedom
By Rex Miller

I HAVE BEEN remiss in responding your recent article about the forthcoming Lincoln celebrations (“A Southerner Looks At Lincoln,” Jan. 21) Inasmuch as I am a productive taxpayer engaged in the daily duties of stewardship toward my family and business.

I do not count one of my functions as fact checker for the Daily News-Record. Additionally, my lot as a revenue producer for the Commonwealth and federal government allows me little time for other activities. Please forgive me.

The aforementioned is indeed filled with factual error and common propaganda. If Phil Stone is a Southerner, he is genuinely reconstructed, which is the purpose of this missive. You see, even a rudimentary investigation of history reveals the piece inaccurate in every way.

First, even a cursory investigation reveals that Mr. Lincoln was most probably the progeny of Abraham Enloe of western North Carolina. Abraham Enloe’s legitimate son Wesley and Mr. Lincoln bear such similar paternal resemblance as to be almost twins. Is it not often affirmed that the fruit seldom falls far from the tree? Civilized students do not fear where the facts lead.

Additionally, in mouthing Mr. Stone’s hagiographic views of Mr. Lincoln, the DN-R does a great disservice to the citizens of this Commonwealth. Virginia was the first Western Christian nation established upon this continent and created the first elected representative legislature. The collective wisdom of Virginia’s leading citizens created our Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, as well as the Bill of Rights. Virginia is the mother of presidents and statesmen.

Additionally, lands west to the Mississippi and north to include Michigan and Wisconsin were unselfish gifts to the central government, hard won in the French and Indian War by Virginians. Virginians have a rich heritage of virtue, which includes diligence toward duty and honesty toward heritage. Virginia did not wish to secede until she was requested to furnish troops to violate her Southern sisters.

Mr. Stone opined that “Lincoln should be admired and respected…” I should hope not! Every contended evil of modern culture may be traced to his administration as the following quotes reveal.

It was stated he was the emancipator of the slaves. Historical fact reveals that his Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave, just as King George’s proclamation failed decades earlier during our first secession from Great Britain.

If the federal army invading sovereign states was about freeing slaves, why did its most acclaimed commander, Ulysses S. Grant, possess slaves in his Washington household until December 1866? It is quoted that he saved the Union. My inquiry is, was it the union as formed by our founders? Of course not! He saved a Hamiltonian consolidated union of servile political districts.

The sovereign states of the Confederacy were no threat to their northern brethren. The Declaration of Independence clearly encourages and proclaims a people’s right to a government of their choosing.

It was further quoted that Lincoln was the protector of core values “and as a model for the office of the presidency.” I must admit that this is finally a truthful statement. Because his wife, law partner and secretary affirm that he was never a Christian and because he and his Cabinet ushered into Washington the procedure and system of political plunder and demagoguery, he does correctly fit the modern presidency.

The burial of our Constitutional Republic in 1865 does not grant my permission for the publication of shoddy, plagiarized history. I value my Commonwealth and its historic reputation too much to allow such maleducated statements to go unchallenged.

I am neither a government-paid academic or government-schooled journalist, but I do possess common sense and the rare ability to read. I sincerely implore Mr. Stone to avail himself of both, as in spite of the organs of government propaganda, the truth is available.

I am shocked and chagrined that the president of a presumably Christian university would parrot the transcendental humanist views of Jacobin revolutionists.

Should Mr. Stone wish to refute my remarks I encourage him to contact me at his earliest convenience so we might share mutually beneficial information.

Mr. Miller lives in Timberville, Virginia.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lincolnism Today: The Long Marriage of Centralized Power and Concentrated Wealth

From Chronicles
By Daniel Larison

In the Anglo-American experience, the partisans of concentrated wealth and advocates for political centralization have long been connected. Over the last three centuries, that connection has grown stronger, and in the United States this process accelerated dramatically during and after the Lincoln administration. Lincolnism, the idea that the central state can and should use its coercive apparatus to serve the narrow interests of an economic elite at the expense of the commonwealth, prevailed decisively in the War of Secession and during the decades that followed, with high tariffs, railroad subsidies, and the apportionment of public lands. Times have changed and so, too, have the specific policies that Lincolnists champion. But their basic goal remains the same, and the interests being served by Lincolnism over the years are remarkably similar in kind to those championed by Lincoln himself. In the end, Lincolnism is essentially a form of state capitalism, which Clyde Wilson has defined as “a regime of highly concentrated private ownership, subsidized and protected by government.”