Bush is on vacation. Again.
No, I am not bashing the man for going on vacation. He has one of the hardest jobs there is, and sucking at it is "hard werk." I am, however, going to go off on his book selections. Not because Bush is reading them, but because of the messages those books tell me.
During his annual retreat to Crawford, President Bush is going to be reading historical books again. He read the same genre last summer on his vacation, only this year he is giving himself less time to do it in. Shorter vacation this year. Cindy must be putting a strain on his relaxing maybe?
This summer, he is reading two books on Lincoln and one on the history of polio. The polio book sounds rather uninteresting to me, but to each his own. I would love to be in the room as he reads that book though:
Karl, Laura! I need help! There are no horses in this book! How can you have a book about playing polio without horses? Oh, wait. It's probably water polio. Never mind. Almost looked dumb there
However, I am rather concerned by the Lincoln books. I see many parallels between Bush and Lincoln that only a person who is not a fan of either's performance as President could see.
My opinion of Lincoln is not popular in America. Actually, I get yelled at quite a bit over my opinion of him. I believe Lincoln did more damage to this country than was done by the evils he fought against.
Done throwing things at me yet? Good. Now, please hear me out. I am not a supporter of slavery, rather I am a proud Southerner who is not a racist redneck. There are many more of us down here than there are of them for the record. I am not positive if it was Lincoln's intent or the intent of historians after his death, but somehow everyone believes the South were all evil slavers while the North was the great emancipators. Give me a break, everything has two sides, and history only records the winner's tale.
The North cared about slavery? The North? The same North that fought against Unions? The same North that fought against the 40 hour work week? The same North that opposed overtime laws, ergonomic, worker safety, child labor laws, health insurance for workers, and a fair wage? This is the North that was so concerned over the enslavement of people in the South? I do love the irony of the Union fighting unions though.
Let's say they were that concerned. Let's say the American Civil War was over slavery. Why didn't Lincoln try for a constitutional amendment to end slavery? Why did Lincoln feel the need to bully his ideas through when there was an already established way to change the Constitution?
Who really broke the Constitution then? The South, who was following the Constitutional law regarding slavery, or the North that tried to change the rules without regard to process and procedure? This nation was founded so that the whim of those in leadership can NOT alter the course of the country. It takes two-thirds of each house to pass a Constitutional amendment and three-quarters of the states to approve. Slavery, while horrible, was constitutional. That means there is only one way to stop it, and Lincoln's power grab was not it. Never forget that Lincoln is the only President to suspend several constitutional rights. How did he get that power exactly?
Now let's examine the set-up of the country at that time. The South was agricultural and the North was largely industrial. The South got its steel from the North and the North got its agriculture from the South. If the South left the nation, then the North would have to import its crops. The South would also be free to negotiate with Europe on its own for its cotton rather than have Congress do it. This would put the South in a greater economic position than the North. The North could not have that. While barely paying their people, they still had to pay them while the South got its labor for free. The North did not factor in the fact that the food, shelter, and clothing supplied to the slaves probably came to about as much as the salary the North paid their employees. No, the slaves of the South and the trapped workers of the North were both slaves.
Lincoln is credited with saving this nation and that is true, sort of. He destroyed much of it while trying to save it. He killed a lot of what made America great by forcing a strong central government that rules over the States opposed to the system the Founding Fathers created. A system where powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people is now a system where the states are only allowed to do what the country thinks is o.k.
You see this again and again in issue after issue, whether it is euthanasia, medical marijuana, drinking age, or almost any other nationally unpopular thing a state wants to pass for its residents. These United States of America has become The United States of America. The emphasis used to be on the states, now it is on the America. Where once there were several independent states banned together for common defense, now is an empire.
Thank you Mr. Lincoln. Your intent was good, but the saying is "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." You were a lawyer and should have known about precedent.
In essence, you started a trend that has stuck to the Republican Party to this day: my way or war.
Bush does not need to read up on Lincoln's history to learn this lesson. He has mastered it. The only difference is that Lincoln's unconstitutional power grab was done for the best reasons, while Bush's has no reason to it at all.
Author's message: Anytime a person takes a stand against Lincoln's methods, they are usually labeled a racist. I am not racist in any fashion, nor do I support slavery. Slavery was ending and it did not require a war. If the South had left AFTER slavery was outlawed, Lincoln's method would have had merit. He did not try, much like Bush going to the U.N. for that second vote, and I fault him for that. Both wars are the fault of the sitting President at the time who chose to follow their opinions instead of the established law.