THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I thought it only appropriate to write this on the 200th anniversary of the 16th president's birthday. Did you ever wonder why Abraham Lincoln is considered a "founding father" even though he became president about eighty years after the American Revolution? I'll tell you why. Lincoln is considered by many to be a "founding father" because the original United States of America died under his presidency, and was remade into something else because of it.
In my opinion as a student of history, Abraham Lincoln was hands down the WORST PRESIDENT the United States ever had, and quite possibly he may be the worst President the United States will ever have. Why? Well let me give you a modern illustration just to demonstrate.
Suppose a current president, like Barack Obama for example, were faced with a crisis of California, Oregon and Washington state seceding from the Union. The three states making up the entire West Coast declared their independence, and two of them did so by popular vote of the people. The third was scheduling an election for later that year, but already declared independence by an act of the legislature, and polls indicated the overwhelming majority of people supported it. These three states form a compact and create the 'Republic of Cascadia" (in reference to the Cascade Mountains that define the landscape of most of the region). The new nation wishes to become an eco-friendly "green" country. They are currently in the process of raising a militia to meet the challenge of securing their borders from illegal immigrants from Mexico and potential threats from China and North Korea. In response, President Obama refuses to recognize the secession of these three states. He refuses to relinquish the military bases along the California coast. He then sends ships into San Diego Harbor to arm and supply soldiers to continue collecting federal taxes from Californians by force if necessary. As a result, some hot head militia commander fires on one of these ships. Before anyone can really assess what happened, Obama declares the whole thing an armed insurrection and sends troops into the region. The newly formed Republic of Cascadia responds by attempting to defend their homeland. They are eventually defeated by the superior firepower of the United States army and in the course of the conflict some 600,000 to 700,000 soldiers die. There are over a million casualties in total after accounting for the civilian population. The entire infrastructure of California is devastated. Washington and Oregon see heavy damage as well. It is estimated that repairs will cost trillions of dollars. Now I have to ask; if such a situation actually occurred, what would your opinion be of President Obama? If it had happened under the Bush administration, what would your opinion be of him? I dare say if either one of these presidents allowed something like that to happen under his watch, he would be considered the worst president in American history.
So that being said, why do we glorify a man who really did see these things happen under his watch. Instead of the "Republic of Cascadia," it was the "Confederate States of America." Instead of the West Coast, it was the Old South. Instead of a fictional war, it was the Civil War. Yes, Lincoln caused most of it. It was well within his power to put a stop to it. He could have prevented the whole thing. Yet he didn't. He allowed his advisors to tell him the war would be short and victory assured. He listened to them, and plunged himself into a war he could not easily back away from. What kind of president does that? What kind of president authorizes the slaughter of his own people by the hundreds of thousands? They say Lincoln saved the Union. I say he destroyed it. For before his administration, these United States were held together simply by a gentleman's agreement - a compact of fraternal charity that was well understood anyone could back out of at any time. After his administration these United States were held together only by fear - fear of what the federal government would do to them if they dared to secede again. Yes, Lincoln saved the Union all right, by turning it into an Empire, wherein the states are held together by the threat of force, and not by the bonds that united them in 1776. So now you understand why Lincoln is not my favorite president.