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Thread: Abraham Lincoln - Right or Wrong?

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    Abraham Lincoln - Right or Wrong?

    This is probably a bad idea for a poll. I just want to apologize right now for starting this poll. I'm already embarrassed...

    Here's one opinion:

    Top 10 Most Influential Presidents
    By Martin Kelly, About.com Guide

    "Of the 43 men who have been president of the United States, there are some truly clear choices of who were the most important and influential presidents.

    1. Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln saved the Union during the American Civil War. His leadership during the war was one of no compromise but at the same time understanding that he would eventually have to unite the states once the North won the war. His actions eventually led to the abolition of slavery across the United States."


    Ranking the Top Ten Most Influential Presidents

    ***
    Here's another source:

    Historical rankings of Presidents of the United States

    "George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt are consistently ranked at the top of the lists."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor..._United_States

    ***
    And another:

    Lincoln wins: Honest Abe tops new presidential survey

    "It's been 145 years since Abraham Lincoln appeared on a ballot, but admiration for the man who saved the union and sparked the end of slavery is as strong as ever, according to a new survey.

    Lincoln finished first in a ranking by historians of the 42 former White House occupants."


    Lincoln wins: Honest Abe tops new presidential survey - CNN

    ***
    Does everyone agree?

    How long was Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly the New York Times best-seller? It's still in the no. 2 position right now.

    I can't find anyone that's critical of Honest Abe. I guess this is a non-subject to everyone. I apologize again, I'm sorry.
    Just the facts...


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    Re: Abraham Lincoln - Right or Wrong?

    Here's one dissenter. *raises hand*

    His importance is hard to deny, but I'm no fan of Lincoln.
    Last edited by Black_Zawisza; 03-13-12 at 04:07 AM.

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    Re: Abraham Lincoln - Right or Wrong?

    Interesting that my favorite presidents and least favorite presidents can all be on the same list.

    Personally I think a lot of what Lincoln did was inevitable and unavoidable. He certainly had his negatives but there are multiple presidents on that list I'd raise an eyebrow to before Lincoln.
    One who makes himself a worm cannot complain when tread upon.

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    User Jack Webb's Avatar
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    Re: Abraham Lincoln - Right or Wrong?

    Thank you Black_Zawisza and Republic Now! for participating in my poll. I wondered if anyone would venture near. The topic of my poll looks like a camouflaged elephant trap with neon arrows pointing to it. The option that Lincoln was "WRONG" is surely sacrilege. History is clear, Lincoln was great! Experience tells us that hindsight is 20/20, right? And, historians have the advantage of mulling-over events and decisions. But there is something known as "The Historian's Fallacy." The top engineer of Chrysler's military defense division explained something to me called the hemi-bell curve. As a practical example, say your retail store's sales lobby has on average 12 customers waiting for 15 minutes. The hemi-bell curve graph might predict that adding another cash register changes the paradigm and the result is the customer count drops to three, with a wait-time of only three minutes. Since I managed a retail outlet for said engineer, his engineer's approach was more than abstract, and though it seems simple and easily understood as I present this, most people experience something we call, "not seeing the forest for the trees." Our minds are trained to organize thoughts using idioms, phrases and stereotypes. We gladly subscribe to the "bandwagon effect and groupthink." That "Historian's Fallacy" I mentioned earlier falls prey to some of these thinking patterns. Are you still with me? Sorry I can't just jump into telling you WHY Lincoln was "WRONG." There's more prep still...

    Analogies are useful to communicate. They're great. I find that when I look at politics, there's one analogy that "FITS" almost every situation. It's turned out to be my favorite 'analogy.' I call it, 'the train analogy.' Here it is: You're going on a trip, so you take your shower, get dressed, take your suitcase to the train depot. Everything is going well, you board the train and it's clean and the passengers are friendly. You put your suitcase in the over-head compartment and take your seat. You see the conductor walking toward you, smiling and joking with the passengers, taking their tickets and using his "puncher" to punch their tickets and hand them back to the passengers. He arrives at your seat and smiles as you hand him your ticket. He jokes with you too, and punches your ticket and hands it back to you. The train gets underway and it's a beautiful day - the scenery is gorgeous today as the train steams down the tracks. The problem? It's the wrong train. It's not taking you where you really want to go.

    O.K. There's all my groundwork, and now the movie, Why Lincoln Was "WRONG."

    Top Five Causes of the Civil War

    1. Economic and social differences between the North and the South.
    2. States versus federal rights.
    3. The fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents.
    4. Growth of the Abolition Movement.
    5. The election of Abraham Lincoln.

    This is where "seeing the forest for the trees" enters. Being too close to "issues" has taken the "train" of our country OFF the tracks and into the woods more than once.

    The first time our country's train was taken off the tracks and into the woods was 1798. Yeah, our country didn't go far before that happened, eh?

    But you say, Lincoln wasn't born until 1809... Hold on, I'll explain.

    The French Revolution's reign of terror was causing paranoia in Europe and it was bleeding over into the United States, calls for secession reached unparalleled heights, and our young nation seemed ready to rip itself apart.

    Kind'a sounds like our nation just before the Civil War, doesn't it? So what happened next? The Federalist Party passed some legislation designed to muzzle free speech, and deal with "THE ISSUE."

    The Alien and Sedition Acts were four bills passed in 1798 by the Federalists in the 5th United States Congress in the aftermath of the French Revolution's reign of terror and during an undeclared naval war with Britain and France, later known as the Quasi-War. They were signed into law by President John Adams. Alien and Sedition Acts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The two founding fathers who basically started this country, the guys who wrote The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, flipped out. Yes, I said they "FLIPPED OUT!" Now we're getting to the heart of the matter. This is how I can be correct in my judgement of Abraham Lincoln, instead of doing what "everybody else" does and look at the retail store lobby being full of angry, waiting customers, I see the hemi-bell curve that the engineers, Jefferson and Madison, showed us. O.K., O.K., so when Jefferson and Madison flipped out, what did they do?

    They started Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party and the wrong direction the country was going.

    The Democratic-Republicans denounced the Sedition Act as invalid and a violation of the First Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights, which protected the right of free speech.

    Thomas Jefferson and James Madison drafted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which called on the states to nullify the federal legislation.

    The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions reflect the Compact Theory, which holds that the United States is made up of a voluntary union of states that agree to cede some of their authority in order to join the union, but that the states do not, ultimately, surrender their sovereign rights. Therefore, under the Compact Theory, states can determine if the federal government has violated its agreements, including the Constitution, and nullify such violations or even withdraw from the union.

    It turns out, the MAIN cause for the Civil War was number two on the list from above: 2. States versus federal rights.

    Not only was Lincoln not right, "at least 618,000 Americans died in the Civil War, and some experts say the toll reached 700,000."

    Casualties In The Civil War

    There is"ZERO" doubt that had Thomas Jefferson and James Madison been in government, the most horrific war of our history would not have happened.

    Oh, you say, "but what about slavery and the other forest trees, etc?" There's where "The Historian's Fallacy" comes in. As a historian, you can very easily say Pearl Harbor being bombed by the Japanese should not have happened, there was voluminous evidence, blah, blah, blah... But, in reality, when you add another cashier and cash register, you just can't imagine how happy your customers are and how many people they get you through word-of-mouth advertising. Likewise, every complaining customer REPRESENTS a couple of hundred unsatisfied customers that you never hear about.

    Don't you just love the communication advantages of using analogies?

    And hey, FDR was the opposite of what everybody thinks too. Don't even get me started. Lincoln was WRONG. The federal government was set up as a provider of specific services. When a service provider fails to do it's job, you fire it and replace it with another competing provider of services. The word "DEMOCRACY" does not appear in The Declaration of Independence or in The U.S. Constitution. It's a REPUBLIC, folks. The federal government "represents" we the people by doing what we authorize it to do. And, since we can't take money from our neighbor by threat of force to give to another neighbor, we CANNOT delegate that activity to government. It's called theft if we do it. It's called RULING us if government does it. (I know, I know, this isn't about Lincoln, but I thought I'd throw this in while I had your attention.) Lincoln was a scrapper and liked a good fight. His flaw. Forcing soverign states to stay in the union was not constitutional. Jefferson and Madison would have had none of it. Lincoln was wrong!
    Last edited by Jack Webb; 03-13-12 at 01:54 PM.
    Just the facts...


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    Re: Abraham Lincoln - Right or Wrong?

    I feel a slavery apologist thread coming along... It's always fun to watch Libertarians downplay the importance of slavery to the civil war. Lol "social and economic differences". Yeah and WWII was really about German anger towards the economy. The annihilation of Jews was just ... you know... a side issue.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Abraham Lincoln - Right or Wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    I feel a slavery apologist thread coming along... It's always fun to watch Libertarians downplay the importance of slavery to the civil war. Lol "social and economic differences". Yeah and WWII was really about German anger towards the economy. The annihilation of Jews was just ... you know... a side issue.
    It was, actually, insofar as it wouldn't have happened had Germany not gotten curbstomped by the Allies. Many Germans believed they lost because the Jews stabbed them in the back. Note also that the "Final Solution" policy wasn't decided upon until early 1942 at the Wannsee Conference.

    Wannsee Conference - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Re: Abraham Lincoln - Right or Wrong?

    He was definitely one of, if not the, most influential presidents ever. He was also one of the most tyrannical.

    He didn't give a damn about blacks or their plight. He himself said that if he could save the Union and not free a single slave, he would. All the talk about Bush suspending habeus corpus? Lincoln did it freely and blatantly. Dissenters would be shot on the White House lawn under the guise of treason.

    If you want to believe the American 6h grade social studies and worship him, that's your problem. In my mind, he will go down as probably the biggest despot in American politics.

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    Re: Abraham Lincoln - Right or Wrong?

    He was both actually. He did things that were right but in the wrong way;
    What he did right:
    1) Did not end slavery but did get the ball rolling in that direction
    2) Made the best effort possible to keep the U.S. together as a unified nation
    3) Fiscal policy during war time was adequate.

    What he did wrong:
    1) Failed to compromise in a way that would have ended the war. The way to accomplish this would have been less than desirable from a standpoint of keeping our tenets of "all men are created equal" but would have allowed a slower and possibly less racially charged means to that end. This is a half-wrong because slavery really needed to end, could have been handled better.
    2) Should have ended the tariff system that kept the south at an economic disadvantage. The tariffs put Europe at an advantage trading with the south's own country. This was a main factor leading to the intial tensions that ignited over the slavery issue.
    3) Should have ended the occupation of Fort Sumter. I've heard the "It was federal land" argument but it was in southern territory. It would have been fair to leave and ask for compensation. The occupation started the aggression from both sides. Peace then was off the table.
    4) Should have never challenged the state's right of secession. This was a powerful tool alluded to by the founders, the constitution did not allow for enforcement of the union and neither disbarred the states from disengaging thereof. State's losing the power of secession would come back in the next century as an expansion of federal powers not ever intended it by the founders. Woodrow Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, and Obama would all follow with enormous expansions of the supposedly least permitted of the governments to reign supreme.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

    LMR

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    Re: Abraham Lincoln - Right or Wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    He was definitely one of, if not the, most influential presidents ever. He was also one of the most tyrannical.

    He didn't give a damn about blacks or their plight. He himself said that if he could save the Union and not free a single slave, he would. All the talk about Bush suspending habeus corpus? Lincoln did it freely and blatantly. Dissenters would be shot on the White House lawn under the guise of treason.

    If you want to believe the American 6h grade social studies and worship him, that's your problem. In my mind, he will go down as probably the biggest despot in American politics.
    You know, i don't disagree with anything you said. He was tyrannical. The thing is I also have to take into consideration the grave circumstances. I can't see any other way things could have worked out. There are times when uncompromising people have to take an uncompromising position to gain something big. It easily could have gone the other way. Let's just say the South won - Lincoln would be one of the most hated and spit upon Presidents. That he was on the winning side certainly helps - his methods were not good in any sense of the word but again, someone used the word "unavoidable" and that's about right.

    Give almost 150 years of perspective, we can look back upon that time and reflect. I can understand and empathize with Lincolns actions and goals, but that doesn't excuse his methods. I think that he paid for that with his life. I couldn't see anyone in modern history doing any better in a similar time and similar situation.
    “I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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    Re: Abraham Lincoln - Right or Wrong?

    ohhh im a good ol rebel now thats just what i am
    “[The metric system is the tool of the Devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead, and that’s the way I likes it!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson”

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