Thread: General Politics Best/Worst Presidents
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:47 PM   #128
DementedLogic DementedLogic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
Regardless of how he got things done or the motivation behind his interests, what is your proposed alternative?

Are you suggesting that in an increasingly industrialized society, the appropriate option was to concede to the South and allow them to accelerate a slave practice that was both immoral but also increasingly less profitable? These "pet projects" were projects that accelerated the industrialization of America, including the expansion of the railroads. Are you suggesting that we would have made anything close to the kind of economic progress we built over time without a unified north and south? Are you suggesting that kicking the can down the road like other administrations did was even an option at this point?
He didn't do anything to try and curb slavery prior to the civil war. In fact, he spoke to the exact opposite. The industrial revolution happened without central planning from the federal government, and it would have continued without it . I believe that a unified north and south did lead to greater economic progress, but I believe that, with time, that would've happened regardless. Lincoln's goal wasn't to create a unified north and south and end slavery. They were unintended benefits of his terrible decisions. They were also things that would've happened regardless. However, the consequence of removing the restraint of voluntary membership of the United States has led to massive expansion of the federal government that otherwise would not have occurred. In turn this has led decreasing freedom.


Quote:
Regardless of the interests or the reasons why, it goes like this. The Civil War led to a unified north and south, accelerated the end of slavery and the industrialization and expansion of America, and allowed us to reconstruct into a superpower. In exchange, a devastating amount of lives and property were lost. The alternative was to allow tensions to escalate for years, completely restrict expansion, fall behind in the world because we continued to cater to agrarian interests in an increasingly industrializing society, potentially exist in a US that divided north/south... all this happening maybe for 20 years or more. And throughout that time, not leaving out the idea that the North and the Confederacy would have eventually fought a "civil war" anyway, even if Lincoln chose to punt.
If Lincoln would've sought to unify the north and south, rather than pit them against each other, then you could give him credit for it. Lincoln's goal was power, and he knew that he could win and keep the presidency by keeping the North happy, at the expense of the south. He pushed the south over the tipping point, and damn near lost the whole union as a result.

Quote:
I get that Lincoln is deified in ways he shouldn't be. But in my view, the war was inevitable and Lincoln, regardless of intentions, made the strategic choices that led to what I believe was the better outcome. Therefore, he absolutely belongs in the list of top presidents.
The problem is that they weren't strategic choices. If you spend your rent money on lottery tickets, that is a bad decision regardless of the outcome. Using your logic, if someone spends all of their rent money on lottery tickets, and wins, they are a genius.
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