Are libertarians wrong in criticizing Abraham Lincoln? Nope

As many libertarians may know, Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Napolitano has asserted what many libertarians and other historians have argued for decades: the 16th president didn’t care about slaves, he was a tyrant and he should not be deified.

It’s very rare to read an article, watch a program or sit in a classroom that lambasts Lincoln. Whether it’s politically incorrect to criticize the former president or the general public is just misinformed, there are plenty of facts to make the case that Lincoln wasn’t really the greatest man of all-time.

Here are some non-economic facts that occurred throughout the Lincoln administration that you probably never knew or were taught in high school:

–          Suspended the writ of habeas corpus

–          Imprisoned tens of thousands of Northern political opponents, including newspaper editors and elected officials

–          Opposed the immigration of black people into Illinois and wanted to colonize them in Africa and South America with taxpayer dollars

–          Administration burned down entire towns occupied by civilians, executed bystanders and looted businesses

–          Only opposed slavery because it would inflate the congressional representation of the Democratic Party

These are important points that are hardly ever addressed by academia, politicians and pundits. Although these historical facts are important to discuss, Lincoln was also venomous when it came to economic matters. His Republican Party was pretty much similar to both the Democratic and GOP parties that we know of today: they supported corporatism, war and big government.

The Republicans took over the policies promoted by the Whigs: protectionist tariffs benefiting the north, corporate welfare and a national bank to finance various questionable companies and initiatives through inflation – Lincoln’s National Currency Act helped pave the way for immense inflation levels.

According to bestselling author Thomas DiLorenzo, Lincoln was elected based on four reasons: to make sure the territories remained white and ensured Caucasians did not have to compete with blacks for labor jobs; supported high protectionist tariffs; gave away free land; and subsidized railroad companies with taxpayers’ money.

It’s very easy to support Lincoln when all you’re taught is that he was the greatest man alive, a raconteur and that it was he alone who freed the slaves. But when you’re finally informed that he was a racist, corporatist and lobbyist then the deification of Lincoln certainly becomes meretricious.

Time for the Lincoln cult to disparage.

Like this article? Get ECN delivered to your inbox daily. Subscribe here.

Comments

  1. Lincoln was indeed a dictator who set up the government for what it has become and set an example for future US dictators as a personable folksy type.
    He’s the only US president to order a mass execution, of Sioux leaders in Minnesota to be sure he got the vote there.
    It’s probably only by circumstance that the slaves were freed — the only good outcome of Lincoln’s reign — and he left a legacy of sectional hatred by the North that continues today.

Leave a Comment