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Why Quirky Ron Paul Is Wrong About The Civil War

December 26, 2007

In their zeal to limit taxation and ‘government intrusion’, libertarians often show their lack of moral fiber on national issues that resonate with most Americans. That is one reason that thankfully they do not hold many elective offices in the nation.  The problem with libertarian thinking was demonstrated again most recently when Ron Paul was featured on “Meet The Press’ this past Sunday.

I had to shake my head in bewilderment as to why a candidate for president in 2008 would bash President Lincoln, arguably the most important leader this nation ever had.  Can Ron Paul be truly void of understanding the moral victory by having slavery ended in the Civil War?  Does his reading of American history about the decades that led up to the Civil War make him feel that a ‘buy out” of the slaves would have actually worked?  And who was to pay for this plan, or execute it, given that folks like Paul hate taxation and government meddling?

Men such as Vice President of the Confederacy Stephens told Abe Lincoln directly that the south would never allow slavery to be ended based on public opinion. Men such as Stephens were not delivering empty threats.  Slavery was seen by a powerful segment of society as a way of life and a right.  Given that the southern economy was tied to slavery I think Ron Paul should consider how a whole radically reformed south was to have been born once the government bought the slaves.  There is no credible argument for buying out the slaves as a means to ending the shameful practice that the south loved.  And Ron Paul knows that. 

While talking about Ron Paul’s slavery issue over Christmas Eve dinner with friends, it was noted that libertarian types love to get frothy over these types of eclectic arguments, and that Paul was probably hoping for another dozen votes by bashing Abe Lincoln.  I am not sure about the votes, but he did get plenty of snickers.

The problem is that Ron Paul was wrong with his assessment concerning the reasons why Lincoln took the nation to war.  Lincoln’s main motive was not to crush the Constitution or alter the founding father’s intentions.  There is a whole cottage industry of Lincoln bashing that has built into a rabid following based on such malarkey.  Paul was feeding into that line of crap in a pathetic grab for a few votes.  Lincoln knew that toughness had to be employed if the Union was to be maintained.  And the bulk of society has been forever grateful.

One might argue that Lincoln was too risky in some of the measures he employed to secure the survival of the Union, such as the suspension of habeas corpus.  Arguments abound if Lincoln had thought enough about how his actions might make it easier for future presidents to act in such a manner.  What is often lost in this line of thinking is that democratic nations do have the right to effectively fight for their survival.  There is no civil war that has ever been fought where a bit of repression is not required to obtain victory.  Just a fact.  

Lincoln was right that the Union should not be dissolved.  John Hay, Lincoln’s secretary during the war, wrote that in Lincoln’s mind it was a necessity to prove that popular government was not an absurdity.  While the war was very much centered on the question of slavery, the need to put aside the notion of a split Union was forefront to all the actions that Lincoln would take.   The fact that Lincoln never had a desire to be a dictator, and relaxed the necessary steps he used at times during the war, is proof of his intentions.

I suppose out of the need to be honest with my readers I should mention that President Lincoln is my favorite person that has sat in the Oval Office.  I do not care for the ripping on Lincoln that some think is great sport.  Abe Lincoln and the Civil War are well represented on my bookshelves and I much enjoy the writings of folks such as Shelby Foote and Carl Sandburg.   In addition, James fifth great grandmother was a third cousin to Hannibal Hamlin.  And as I said before most of us in America are grateful for the tall lanky man with the high voice from Illinois.

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30 Comments
  1. Paul permalink
    December 27, 2007 1:49 AM

    LOL at the comments

  2. Bob permalink
    December 27, 2007 1:20 AM

    Isn’t it refreshing to hear a politician like Ron Paul who hides nothing about the way he thinks. He even inspires thought by folks who don’t like to think like the author of this article. I’m sure Ron will come up with some position that I will consider to be looney. He hasn’t yet. Maybe if I don’t bother to listen to his reasoning… and come up with the conclusion that buying the slaves would be more costly than the civil war like this author…Yes…War is Peace and civil war is the best of all!

  3. Thomas permalink
    December 26, 2007 8:21 PM

    Some think they know about the Civil War while in fact those that do not agree with the possition that the Civil War should not have been fought by Lincoln are absolutly correct. Lincoln in his own admission said his intent was not to free the slaves, but instead agressed the War upon a war measure since Congress left seni die (without light of day) as to when they would combact within a Republic form of government and without any Constitutional authority as an administrator pulled him self to the possition of commander and cheif to start an International War known as the Civil War against the Southern state when in fact the Northern slaves were never set free by him. As for the the alleged emancipation proclomation it had and still has no weight in law and their is more.

  4. Annoyed Anonymous permalink
    December 26, 2007 7:12 PM

    What was so sacred about the Union, that it was well worth 600,000 American lives? Lincoln was one of the biggest scoundrel this country ever new.

  5. darkhorsetrader permalink
    December 26, 2007 6:50 PM

    I think the point he was making was that slavery was in decline around the world and it was only a matter of time. However, I do agree with you that it probably required kicking some ass in order to change things.

    To Ferrell I see your point. Ron Paul is way too good for the GOP!

    As for miss Meow. I have nothing against strong women. I just don’t like Democrats, all they know how to do is spend other peoples money.

  6. December 26, 2007 6:01 PM

    Leroy: I bet you miss those Yahoo message boards now don’t you?? Next time read the article and then respond with something relevant. It is called respect for the writer. If you are not going to do that, then just watch the “Girls Gone Wild” infomercial. I am sure that it is on at least 10 channels at 3:48 in the morning. Okay??

  7. December 26, 2007 1:48 PM

    Would Ron Paul please just leave the GOP and run on the Libertarian, the Reform, Independent or whatever ticket for president??

    Can anyone say John Anderson??

  8. sauerkraut permalink
    December 26, 2007 12:31 PM

    Didn’t take long for the Ron Paul bushwackers to find you, Deke.

    I watched the Meet the Press show this past Sunday and this issue was just one of many that left me shaking my head. Yet there are so many morons who support the nihilist despite the contradictions in Ron Paul’s liberatarian philosophies and his “idea” to buy freedom for 4 million slaves. His thinking is so frikken shallow that he hasn’t even considered that most southern slave owners would have turned down any offer.

    Which would have left Ron Paul where?

    Ah ha.

    In the same situation that Lincoln found himself.

    Ron Paul makes me want to vote for Leona Helmsley. I mean, Hillary Clinton.

    meow.

  9. December 26, 2007 12:07 PM

    If you read my blog you will note I am very much against the Iraq war, and the fear tactics that the Bush Administration uses daily.

    If you read my post here on Ron Paul you will note that I wrote about Lincoln and the Civil War.

    So I am at a loss to understand your comment.

  10. leroy tindrake permalink
    December 26, 2007 3:48 AM

    I can’t believe someone actually took time out to write something such as this. Un-fucking-believable.

    Let me guess who you want me to vote for… Hillary? Obama? Giuliani? Edwards?

    No thanks. I’m not some pansie-ass who quivers in his boots everytime the paid-for media says a terrorist is out to get me. Why don’t you be a real man and show some courage, and invite the terrorist fucks to your front door? I’ll bet you $1 million they will never show up — because they don’t exist…

    Boo!

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