By Gregory Carpenter | NEWSL
Every four years when there is a new president elected, the over analysis by the media usually turns to the question,” Who was the worst President?”
The flippant comments from the news media dribble with claims of James Buchanan, Millard Fillmore and Franklin Pierce all supporting slavery and not doing anything to stop it. Here is some breaking news for the “news media”, it is Not the President’s job.
Shocked? Dismayed? Does that mean I support slavery? Absolutely not, not in any form, be it physical servitude or the crushing taxation of the state, in my mind, it is not right and it is immoral. If we had been good servants to the crown, the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 would have forced us to free everyone as subjects of the King. But, we went our own way and were forced to deal with it on our own. So, in addition, how many places around the world needed violence to end slavery? Just a couple, that is all.
African tribes used to enslave their neighboring tribesmen. When the Europeans came, the aggressive tribes captured more and sold the ones they had.
Now, throughout the world, slavery is said to be eradicated, but not in Mauritania, one of the places it started, it was made illegal in 2007, but only one person has been prosecuted while upward of 20% of the population lives in slavery.
So slavery cannot be a benchmark by which we judge our presidential performances, so what is?
The Constitution says that the president must do just a few things (Article II Section II) and none of them involves making laws, lobbying or maintaining a federal law enforcement activity; least of all pushing their own agenda.
It was well understood that the president did not engage in that activity.
Looking past, these shallow accusations of mediocrity, I find myself looking to the long enduring damages of one president, above all others, a president who overtly broke more laws than any other president before or since.
So I recommend we look to the things which the presidents have done outside their authority which has had a lasting impact on the citizens of the many States.
THE WORST PRESIDENT IS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, HANDS DOWN
But didn’t Honest Abe end slavery? No, the Emancipation Proclamation only affected the slaves in the States which were in “Open Rebellion” and did not affect the slaves in New York (who were not emancipated until later in 1863) or New Jersey (who did not emancipate until the 13th Amendment passed in 1865).
Did he not keep the Union together? By all accounts, a break-up would most likely been better economically and politically for both the North and South. And NO, the Union was not whole, although that was his aim, and he did not even achieve that. For a small town in Erie County New York called Townline seceded from the Union in 1861 and did not rejoin the Union until 1946.
On top of that, it was Lincoln himself who baited the South into attacking the Union.
Lincoln could have avoided war by following the advice of his Army Chief of Staff, Old Fuss & Feathers, General Winfield Scott and removed Federal troops from two forts in the South.
If he really was for peace and compromise as Lincoln supporters claim he was (basing that on his Whig roots), he would have listened to the general. However, the plan was, all along, to agitate the Southern States so they would attack, and that is what finally happened. The first shots of the Civil War were when President James Buchanan sent a merchant ship called the Star of the West to resupply Fort Sumter.
There were Cadets from The Citadel who fired across the bow of the ship from nearby on Morris Island as she entered the harbor. The Star of the West was hit three times, and its captain abandoned the mission. Three months later came the attack on Fort Sumter and no turning back.
So for the things “Honest Abe” did, none of them was in the Constitution as a presidential power, but we feel good about them because they were moral goals, n’est pas? What did he do on the road to paradise, just how did he achieve the status of greatest president then?
Here is a short list of his accomplishments, see if you ever learned of these in school:
- Launched a military invasion without the consent of Congress
- Suspended the writ of habeas corpus
- Censored all telegraph transmissions
- Confiscated private property
- Blockaded Southern ports without a declaration of war
- Nationalized the railroads
- Confiscated firearms directly violating the 2nd Amendment
- Ordered the Northern Troops to interfere with Northern elections
- Deported a member of Congress from Ohio after the gentleman criticized Lincoln’s unconstitutional actions
- Created three new States without the formal consent of the citizens of those States (West Virginia, Kansas & Nevada)
- When criticized by Chief Justice Taney for the prior actions, Lincoln put the Chief Justice under house arrest and threatened to arrest him.
- Imprisoned over 13,000 Northern citizens without trial or warrant because they spoke out against his policies
- Ministers were imprisoned for not saying a prayer for Abe Lincoln
“Once he was in power, Lincoln appointed himself ‘Constitutional Dictator’ and immediately pushed through this ‘Mercantilist Economic Agenda’ – an agenda that had been vetoed by president after president beginning with Jefferson” – Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln
This man’s utter disregard for our Constitution permanently broke this Union of free states and introduced a different kind of forced servitude for generations to come. Was it mentioned that Mr. Lincoln’s was produced over 1.5 million casualties, tore families apart and placed an undeniable rift between more than the peoples of the many States, but the Federal and State governments, our international trading partners and the other countries in the New World who we allied with by virtue of the Monroe Doctrine.
In short, it changed everything about what it meant to live in a federated governmental system and foreshadowed the destructive nature the inhabitants of Washington D.C. reign down upon the rest of our beleaguered Union.
Without question, there is only one man who caused so much death and destruction. There is only one man who turned brother against brother. There is only one man who drug economic prosperity from the doorstep of the south and doubled down supporting the bankers of the North.
There is only one man with such disregard for the people who were slaves that they took a backseat to his unconstitutional actions and whims, but when handed an opportunity to do the morally right thing, he exploited them and used them to his benefit not caring one iota for them personally.
Yes, it is Abraham Lincoln who must bear the badge of shame. Best president of all time? No, by no objective measure, but last by a mile.