Polemics & Exchanges

On Lincoln Herds

Abraham Lincoln is thrashed in a series of articles in the February issue of Chronicles (“The Legacy of Lincoln”) as a man of low morality and character who took his actions for the worst of reasons—e.g., to usher in an era of kleptocratic state capitalism; to bring an assembly of free state republics into a unitary, un-Christian federal system; to give Northern business interests untrammeled power over the South—all the while using hypocritical arguments against slavery while he personally was antiblack.

Paleoconservatives—like everyone else, including our current ruling elite—have a herd instinct dimming independent thought.  Here’s another view about Mr. Lincoln’s time, which is much more germane: “With the Deep South gone, the United States would have lost a fourth of its territory, its window on the Caribbean and the Gulf, its border with Mexico, and its port of New Orleans—the outlet to the sea for the goods of Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and the Middle West.  The South would have begun to compete for the allegiance of New Mexico and Arizona . . . To Lincoln, secession meant an amputation of his country that would have destroyed its elan and morale. . . . Lincoln was the indispensable man who saved the Union.”

These are the sentiments of Patrick J. Buchanan (“Mr. Lincoln’s War: An Irrepressible Conflict?”) in his View in the October...

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