Was Lincoln a Good President?

Many will argue that Abraham Lincoln was the best president we’ve had, or at least one of the best. What made Abraham Lincoln great in many people’s eyes is the preservation of the union. But was Lincoln a good president? In The Real Lincoln, Thomas DiLorenzo shows the problems with Lincoln’s presidency. By taking a look at this book, we’ll ask if Lincoln was good or bad for our country by looking at the results of his presidency. You can find more book reviews in the Conversation of Our Generation Library.

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.

-Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Adress
BAM! Books-A-Million

Watch here for my discussion on whether or not Lincoln was a good president:

Lincoln and The American System

The American System was an economic program endorsed by the Whig Party. Largely shaped by Alexander Hamilton, this program involved the government heavily in economic matters. It would increase taxes to pay for large spending projects at the federal level. But, the people didn’t want this. Due to failed infrastructure projects, many northern states went nearly bankrupt. Multiple states even amended their constitutions to not allow this type of program. Despite this, Lincoln believed in the system with all evidence against him and attempted to force it on the country.

Lincoln’s Involvement in the Civil War

When the South seceded, war was not inevitable. Rather, when Lincoln fortified Ft. Sumter without authorization he provoked the war. Also, Lincoln was not a good Commander in Chief. The Confederate Generals outmaneuvered him and his generals, and were actually poised to win the war. As an act of desperation, he and his generals turned to war crimes, burning and pillaging towns across the south, raping the women, and randomly executing boys and men. It was these horrific crimes that made the south surrender, not military prowess.

Did Lincoln Free The Slaves?

Lincoln didn’t really free the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. Instead, it was a piece of propaganda. The order exempted the slave states that never seceded or had rejoined the union. The 13th amendment, which actually freed the slaves, was passed by Congress before Lincoln’s death. But, it wasn’t ratified until 8 months after he died. This was only possible because when the north conquered the south, the north revoked the rights of southern citizens to participate in the political system.

Was Lincoln a Good President?

Based on the evidence, I don’t think Lincoln was a good president. Although, I’ll grant that he came into power during crazy and tumultuous times. But, the greatness of leaders is based on how they rise to that occasion. In what I’ve seen, I don’t think Lincoln was the great president people claim he is. His economic system was a failure that eroded liberty and needed to be forced on the people. Lincoln didn’t free the slaves, even the slaves he was able to free. And, he condoned the mass rape, pillaging, and burning of the south, of people he claimed were his fellow countrymen. So no, I don’t think Lincoln was our best president. I don’t think Lincoln was even a good president.

Want more great book reviews? Check out my library here.

235. Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Conversation of Our Generation

According to Wikipedia, Naturalism is "the idea or belief that only natural laws and forces (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual ones) operate in the universe. Adherents of naturalism assert that natural laws are the only rules that govern the structure and behavior of the natural world, and that the changing universe is at every stage a product of these laws." In this episode, I'll take a look at some of the good points and valid concerns of Naturalism. Then, I'll discuss how it falls short, and what corrections it needs. Valid Concerns and Good Points One of the good points of naturalists is that we can attribute most things to natural laws and forces. Every little thing that happens doesn't have to be a supernatural intervention. And, we know it isn't random due to the consistency of events. There is a time in pagan cultures when everything was attributed to the supernatural. Even in the Judeo-Christian world much of the natural order was attributed to angel's intervention. I don't begin to say that I know how Heaven governs this world and it's laws. But it appears to me that there are natural laws and that God created the world with a discoverable order. When looking into that order, it is good to work within it's bounds, which is why we have science. Errors of Naturalism The cause of why I burn my tongue on hot coffee or the sun rises everyday can be naturally accounted for. But, the fact that all these beings exist as well as the laws that govern them, none of which fully account for the existence of the universe, has to have some other explanation. Naturalism cannot account for that. Instead, it seeks for a self-explaining cause that's within the natural order. Furthermore, there are well-attested events that do not fit into the natural world. Inexplicable miracles are one. But, there are phenomena like love and beauty that we do experience. However, the naturalist cannot explain these fully by neurons and brain chemistry. We need a deeper, spiritual explanation if we want to cohere with our universal experience. Corrections There is one major correction a naturalist needs to incorporate all truth into his worldview. That is a recognition of the spiritual. Miracles, religious experiences, emotions, and beauty aren't simply natural phenomena. Rather, they are true experiences of something outside of the natural order. To see this in art, read The Soul of the World, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, or Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to see how this plays out. They demonstrate that there is more to this world than the naturalist can explain. And, they do it both with philosophy and story-telling. Related Episodes in this Series What is Objective Reality? What is Subjective Reality? Unity of Subject and Object The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 235. Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  2. 234. The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality
  3. 233. Is Patriotism Good? | Reflections on the 4th of July
  4. 232. Unity of Subject and Object
  5. 231. What is Subjective Reality?

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