RON PAUL!!!!1!!! Flashback: Civil War Was Senseless

An interesting article from Philly.com

Paul is in party of Lincoln, but rejects what he stood for

Can Ron Paul make Abe Lincoln a villain – in the Party of Lincoln?

Why would he try in the first place? And who would help him?

In all the attention that has surrounded the presidential candidacy of Ron Paul, one of the problems that has been bubbling just below the surface is the congressman’s special contempt for the man most Americans revere as the nation’s greatest president. The man who saved the Union, freed the slaves, and, not coincidentally, served as the first Republican president.

Saved the Union? Not so fast.

On Dec. 23, 2007, appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Paul told then-host Tim Russert that the Civil War was “senseless” and that “Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war.” Paul accused Lincoln of provoking the war to “get rid of the original intent of the Republic.”

The actual exchange is this

MR. RUSSERT:  I was intrigued by your comments about Abe Lincoln.  “According to Paul, Abe Lincoln should never have gone to war; there were better ways of getting rid of slavery.”

REP. PAUL:  Absolutely.  Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war.  No, he shouldn’t have gone, gone to war.  He did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic.  I mean, it was the–that iron, iron fist..

MR. RUSSERT:  We’d still have slavery.

REP. PAUL:  Oh, come on, Tim.  Slavery was phased out in every other country of the world.  And the way I’m advising that it should have been done is do like the British empire did.  You, you buy the slaves and release them.  How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where it lingered for 100 years?  I mean, the hatred and all that existed.  So every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war.  I mean, that doesn’t sound too radical to me.  That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach.

So, in PaulWorld, slavery would just magically disappear and be replaced with unicorns and fairies. And Lincoln wanted the war for the same reason that Hitler wanted war, power. It also says something to the notion that Paul is kind of a racist. And bat guano crazy. Don’t forget bat guano crazy.

He also mentions the Constitution 17 times during the interview, yet, I don’t get the sense that he really understands what the hell it means and is about. It’s almost as if he throws the word in in the same fashion other people will add “like, you know.”

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15 Responses to “RON PAUL!!!!1!!! Flashback: Civil War Was Senseless”

  1. Kevin says:

    Bah. Slavery was ‘magically disappearing’ as you put it long before the civil war. There’s no reason to believe that the trend would not continue without a war between Americans. There was general support for the idea, even in the south.

    You’re wrong on this one, Teach. The civil war took away many more freedoms from southern Americans than it gave. Hell, they even last to this day, as we saw when some dude in DC decided that South Carolina is not allowed to ask for proof of residency before letting someone cast a vote.

  2. Kevin says:

    I should mention that I do not support Paul at all. Or Romney for that matter :(. I may take a pass this election.

  3. gitarcarver says:

    Slavery was not “magically disappearing.” A simple comparison of the census of 1850 and 1860 shows an increase of slave population in every southern state as well as an overall increase in slave population.

    There is something else here in the strange world of Ron Paul. He says he would have bought slaves as the English had done. That is a technical distortion of the way slavery ended in Great Britain as the owners of slaves could apply for compensation for the loss of a slaves. It is not the same as slaves being purchased. However, in British colonies slavery remained until the 20th century, so despite Paul’s admiration of the way the English ended slavery, his admiration and historical knowledge is, as usual, incomplete and somewhat distorted.

    Of course, there is a bigger issue with Paul’s stance and it is two-fold.

    First, Paul says he would only do what the Constitution allows, but nowhere does the Constitution allow for the Federal government to pay citizens for what was considered property in the form of slaves. Perhaps one could get around this little technicality by invoking “eminent domain,” but eminent domain requires the purchase of property be for “the public use.” As there would be no “public use” of governmentally purchased slaves, eminent domain could not be used. Paul’s stance of seizing the property of citizens would be contrary to his own stated opinions of leaving people alone to do as they will and to only act within the boundaries of the Constitution.

    Secondly, Paul says Lincoln should not have fought the Civil War. Yet it was the South that fired on a Federal Fort. It was the South that initiated the conflict. Apparently Paul would have just stood back and done nothing as the United States – the union created by the Constitution – was torn apart. This once again shows that Paul’s devotion to the Constitution is nothing more than lip service and is akin to “hope and change” from Obama. It makes a great talking point, but one without reality in the Paulian world.

    Without defending the South’s attack on the Federal fort and subsequent actions, Paul would have set up a situation where other nations and groups would have felt empowered and emboldened to attack the US. After all, if the US would not defend itself against those attacking it from within and without, why should any foreign body think President Paul would defend it from an attack from another nation?

    The Civil War thinking is typical of the lack of depth of Ron Paul. He simply has talking points beneath which there is no substance or consistency.

  4. david7134 says:

    A simple review of history, outside the government progaganda, would indicate that Lincoln was one really bad guy. Lincoln was the one who started the war by sendin warships into Charlston Harbor. This sparked the shooting war, and contray to what people have said, warships in your harbor is an act of war.

    The War of Northern Aggression had nothing to do with slavery. If you think about it, the remaining portion of the US had slave states, making it a slave nation. So how can you logically justify one slave nation fighting another slave nation to end slavery. If you look up the origianl 13th amendment, which was supported by Lincoln, it would have insured slavery to the current day. The final version eliminated slavery but was passed after Lincoln’s death. Slavery would have died a natural death without the interference of the North.

    I could go on, but Paul is right on this one. And guitar, don’t waste your time as you have no idea what you are writing about, read some books, not the internet.

  5. david7134 says:

    I forgot to give you one third party observer of the war who indicated it was nothing more than a power struggle. That was a newspaper guy named Charles Dickinson. He definitely did not feel the issue had anything to do with slavery.

  6. gitarcarver says:

    The War of Northern Aggression had nothing to do with slavery.

    david, like so many southern apologists, seems to forget the South originally broke away from the United States, without any legal justification, over the issue of slavery. It was felt in the south that Lincoln’s election would bring on more legislation against slavery. Each Constitution of the Southern states and the States as a whole mention slavery as an issue in the war.

    For the North, the war was initially one of simply preserving the Union. In roughly 1862 – 1863 when the North was losing, Lincoln looked for a theme that would bring the North together as many Northerners felt it was better to let the South go. That issue was slavery and it renewed the North’s vigor in prosecuting the war.

    For the South, one only needs to look at the Declarations of Secession from the states themselves to show the folly of david’s belief.

    Georgia: “…For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. ….”

    Mississippi: “….Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world……”

    South Carolina: “….Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection. ….”

    Texas: “….She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. ….”

    To say that slavery was not a cause of the Civil War cannot be supported by any reading of the history of the times.

    Lincoln was the one who started the war by sendin warships into Charlston Harbor. This sparked the shooting war, and contray to what people have said, warships in your harbor is an act of war.

    david your history is skewed and incorrect.

    The barricading and siege of Fort Sumter which started before Lincoln’s inauguration was an act of war as the South had no claim on the fort.

    Additional facts hurt you even more. President Buchannon sent an unarmed merchant ship to re-supply Fort Sumter. The ship was fired upon by coastal batteries and driven away.

    After Lincoln’s inauguration, Lincoln did try to resupply Fort Sumter. Lincoln advised the governor of South Carolina the expedition was coming. The orders to the commander of the relief effort was to land the supplies at night and for the armed vessels to stand off unless the unarmed, small supply ships were fired upon.

    After the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, the merchant ships did try and enter the harbor, but once again were driven off. Military vessels never did enter the harbor proper due to bad seas. Even if they had, the fact of the matter is the first shots were fired before the armed vessels were in position to enter the harbor.

    In summary, it was the South that fired on an unarmed merchant ship while Buchannon was still president. It was the South that started to fire on Fort Sumter before Lincoln’s relief expedition attempted to reach the Fort. It was the South that fired on the unarmed merchant ships of that expedition. The warships of the relief expedition did not fire a shot and in fact stood off from the harbor. The North’s actions cannot be seen as an act of war. However, firing on a flagged ship or territory of a country is an act of war.

    If you look up the origianl 13th amendment, which was supported by Lincoln, it would have insured slavery to the current day.

    This too is factually false. It makes it appear the text of the ratified 13th Amendment was changed in some manner. It was not.

    The amendment of which david speaks was known as the “Corwin Amendment” which was a last ditch attempt to forestall the was with the South. The amendment was passed as a joint resolution, and sent to the states prior to Lincoln’s inauguration. Lincoln, who was personally opposed to slavery but felt the Constitution allowed it, said he would support the amendment as he believed it protected slavery in the current slave states, but did not allow for the expansion of slavery into new states and territories.

    However, once back in the state assemblies, only three states – Ohio, Maryland and Illinois – approved the amendment. Noticeably missing in their support of the amendment was any southern state as they understood the amendment would limit the expansion of slavery.

    And guitar, don’t waste your time as you have no idea what you are writing about, read some books, not the internet.

    Maybe you should take your own advice, david. This is not the first time you have been caught playing fast and loose with the facts and trying to distort them.

    I don’t hope to convince you of anything david as you have shown that you are willing to put forth ideas that are factually wrong. But there are others who might read this thread and your lies and deceptions should be addressed lest they believe the putrid, vile, and revisionist distortions you bring forth.

  7. gitarcarver says:

    That was a newspaper guy named Charles Dickinson.

    Its DICKENS, david. Not Dickenson.

    Maybe you should go read a book of his to get his friggin’ name right.

  8. david7134 says:

    Guitar,
    I am going to break my rule of ignoring you as I did reference you in my rant.

    First, secession was and still is legal. Look it up.

    Second, seperating from the US with a reference to slavery does not mean that slavery was the root of the war. There were five factors sited, look it up.

    Third, you are right to an extent on the amendment, but Lincoln still wanted it.

    Fourth, Lincoln did not oppose slavery as much as he opposed the extension on slavery. Look it up. You will find some reference to lincoln not desiring slavery, but on a policy basis it was the extension issue. Lincoln hated blacks as much as David Duke does. Listen to his speeches. He also wanted them deported to Africa.

    I can’t determine if you intentionally mislead people or it you are functionally illeterate.

    As to the spelling, I am sorry, but sometimes I type while doing other things, deal with it.

    I am back to ignoring you.

  9. gitarcarver says:

    I am going to break my rule of ignoring you as I did reference you in my rant.

    Right. Because you do have a tendency to ignore those facts which are contrary to your opinions.

    First, secession was and still is legal. Look it up.

    I have. It is not. As you have claimed to be a strict Constitutional constructionist (as does Ron Paul) we need only to look at the words of the author of the Constitution, James Madison:

    Montpellier, Decr 23, 1832.
    Dr. Sir I have received yours of the 19th, inclosing some of the South Carolina papers. There are in one of them some interesting views of the doctrine of secession; one that had occurred to me, and which for the first time I have seen in print; namely that if one State can at will withdraw from the others, the others can at will withdraw from her, and turn her, nolentem, volentem, out of the union. Until of late, there is not a State that would have abhorred such a doctrine more than South Carolina, or more dreaded an application of it to herself. The same may be said of the doctrine of nullification, which she now preaches as the only faith by which the Union can be saved.
    I partake of the wonder that the men you name should view secession in the light mentioned. The essential difference between a free Government and Governments not free, is that the former is founded in compact, the parties to which are mutually and equally bound by it. Neither of them therefore can have a greater fight to break off from the bargain, than the other or others have to hold them to it……

    It is high time that the claim to secede at will should be put down by the public opinion; and I shall be glad to see the task commenced by one who understands the subject.

    It is clear that the Framers did not intend for secession to be a path taken by states, and believed that path to be illegal and contrary to the Constitution.

    Second, seperating from the US with a reference to slavery does not mean that slavery was the root of the war. There were five factors sited, look it up.

    Of the so called “five causes,” all of them are linked somehow to slavery. That is the point. While the South tried to say there were other issues, those issues all were based on the overwhelming and overriding issue of slavery.

    You don’t have to take my word for it, you can take the words of the people that were there (which you didn’t address, of course.)

    Secondly, your claim was not that slavery was not one of the five issues, but rather it was not an issue at all. To remind you, this is what you said: The War of Northern Aggression had nothing to do with slavery.

    You have gone from saying slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War to now saying it was one of “five factors.” You have contradicted yourself and your position within this thread.

    Third, you are right to an extent on the amendment, but Lincoln still wanted it.

    Factually false. Lincoln said he would not stand in opposition of it. In letters to Congressmen and states, Lincoln restates his objections to slavery, but believed the amendment might prevent the coming war. There is a difference between not opposing a bill and supporting it.

    Fourth, Lincoln did not oppose slavery as much as he opposed the extension on slavery. Look it up. You will find some reference to lincoln not desiring slavery, but on a policy basis it was the extension issue. Lincoln hated blacks as much as David Duke does. Listen to his speeches. He also wanted them deported to Africa.

    Over time Lincoln had come to change his mind on the moral issue of slavery.

    Some quotes will illustrate this fact:

    You know I dislike slavery; and you fully admit the abstract wrong of it.
    –August 24, 1855 Letter to Joshua Speed

    I have always hated slavery, I think as much as any Abolitionist.
    –July 10, 1858 Speech at Chicago

    Now I confess myself as belonging to that class in the country who contemplate slavery as a moral, social and political evil…
    –October 7, 1858 Debate at Galesburg, Illinois

    An inspection of the Constitution will show that the right of property in a slave in not “distinctly and expressly affirmed” in it.
    –February 27, 1860 Speech at the Cooper Institute

    I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel. And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling.
    –April 4, 1864 Letter to Albert Hodges

    “Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” “Speech to One Hundred Fortieth Indiana Regiment” (March 17, 1865)

    Once again, Lincoln was against slavery as a moral issue, but felt the Constitution allowed for it. As time passed and Lincoln became more familiar with the institution of slavery as practiced in deep South, his opposition rose to it and he looked for a way to end it.

    I can’t determine if you intentionally mislead people or it you are functionally illeterate.

    That would be “illiterate.”

    Now, you were saying?

    As to the spelling, I am sorry, but sometimes I type while doing other things, deal with it.

    Normally david I don’t pick on people’s spelling as I am notoriously a horrible speller.

    But when you start railing on people about how they don’t have their facts straight and then come up with a different name for a person, that is not a spelling issue. That is a factual error. It demonstrates that you play fast and loose with your opinions which are not backed by facts.

  10. The Quadfather says:

    Well, the next time the South seceeds from the union, the union won’t have slavery as an excuse to make war. Unless it’s to keep the whites enslaved to pay for their welfare state. We need a new emancipation to a country where everyone, who is capable, pulls their own weight. Where no one thinks it’s proper to live on the backs of others. So much for the high morality of ysnkees!

  11. Phaedo says:

    I rarely agree with Ron Paul or with big-L libertarians, but in this case I do. In my view, the primary conflict was economic — mercantilism (now called crony capitalism) in the North against the free-trade South.

    Mercantilism (from Alexander Hamilton’s views favoring a strong, centralized general government was already well established (and growing) in the industrial North prior to the Civil War, and Lincoln’s mentor and political ally, Henry Clay, was its chief advocate. The ultimate triumph of mercantilism was the core objective of the Whig party.

    The North clearly understood that secession would be ruinous to their economy — the loss of tariff revenue (disproportionately punitive to the South), competition with European manufacturers and, perhaps above all, the certain loss of shipping trade resulting from southern free-trade ports of Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans.

    So firmly entrenched has Lincoln hagiography (passing as history) become in our schools that most Americans — even those who doubt the orthodoxy of the narrative — fear to speak against it. Ron Paul and other Libertarians (notably Thomas DiLorenzo) are a refreshing exception.

    But, in my opinion, this is an especially important time to challenge the myths of Lincoln, Lincoln’s war and a benign Reconstruction. One cannot fully understand the emergence of our Leviathan government without acknowledging the role of the president, the Whig (later ‘Republican’) party and mercantilism in the destruction of Jeffersonian ideals.

    Blithely to ignore (as is now mostly done) Lincoln’s place in centralizing government is to leave an inexplicable gap between the Founders and, say, Wilson or Roosevelt; it is to invite a crippling cognitive dissonance, that is so often apparent in conservative arguments for restoring small government and explaining how we lost it.

    Note: I’m heartened (and somewhat surprised) to find, with predictable exceptions, mine is not a lone voice.

  12. gitarcarver says:

    the loss of tariff revenue (disproportionately punitive to the South)

    You do realize, don’t you that the tariff rates were established by the Southern states in a bill that was passed in 1854?

    Are you really postulating the South would put forth tariffs that would damage themselves more than any other section of the country?

    Does that make any sense to you?

  13. Phaedo says:

    The South consistently opposed high tariffs since at least 1824 and South Carolina came very near seceding over the 1828″tariff of abominations”. They were successful for a short period (1856-7) in having tariffs reduced. England’s repeal of its Corn Laws reflects a growing trend of reductions in Europe. However, the Panic of 1857 renewed protectionist sentiment resulting in steady increases culminating in the draconian Morrill Tariff of 1861, which almost certainly (among other factors to be sure) influenced secession.

    Tariffs (taxes on imports) were always, as I have already said, disproportionately hard on the South because they raised the price of manufactured products which had to be purchased from the North or from Europe; either way the cost penalty was added on. The North, for its part, benefited from protected industries which, strongly supporting the Whig/Republican party, received financial support from government. DiLorenzo points out that the South with less than half the population of the North, paid more than half of all government revenues, and the lion’s share of government spending was concentrated in the North and West.

    You mention an 1854 tariff bill passed by the Southern states. Seems curious to me; would you mind furnishing a citation? I always like to learn new things.

  14. davidc says:

    I agree with Ron Paul on this issue. Slavery would have gradually phased out on it’s own. It wasn’t worth the cost in lives.

  15. gitarcarver says:

    Phaedo,

    I apologize for the tardiness in getting back to you.

    The tariff of which I spoke was actually from 1857, not 1854. I apologize for the error and there is no one to blame but myself.

    High tariffs had prompted the Nullification Controversy in 1831-33, when, after South Carolina demanded the right to nullify federal laws or secede in protest, President Andrew Jackson threatened force. No state joined the movement, and South Carolina backed down. Tariffs were not an issue in 1860, and Southern states said nothing about them. Why would they? Southerners had written the tariff of 1857, under which the nation was functioning. Its rates were lower than at any point since 1816.

    As I said earlier the secessionist declarations from the Southern states all mention the need to protect the institution of slavery. What you and others are asking people to do is look past the words and writings of the people at the time to some historian’s view of events many years later.

    davidc:

    Slavery would have gradually phased out on it’s own. It wasn’t worth the cost in lives.

    This is the depth of Ron Paul’s thinking.

    If slavery would have died on its own accord, why was the South trying to protect it so much?

    Given the slave population was growing and the South wanted to expand slavery into territories and even into Mexico, what evidence do you have the South would have given up a work force they did not have to pay?

    If slavery was to have faded out, why does Ron Paul claim (erroneously) the government simply should have bought all the slaves as England had done. (Ron Paul is wrong here. England did not purchase slaves, they compensated slave owners who made a claim for lost property. There is a difference between purchasing and compensation.)

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