Thread: General Politics Best/Worst Presidents
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:09 PM   #129
chiefzilla1501 chiefzilla1501 is offline
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Originally Posted by DementedLogic View Post
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.
The industrial revolution did not happen without central planning. One of the major outcomes of the Civil War was that we built a transcontinental railroad which opened up an unbelievable amount of doors for expansion and interstate trade. I get that one of Lincoln's interests was to build that railroad (maybe crooked interests), but the outcome was right, that infrastructure needed to build to allow for better trade.

And again, the idea that the industrial revolution would have moved us to the post-civil war state is naive. It likely would have taken a very, very long time. You have southern agrarians who are stuck in their ways and will fight every last battle to protect their interests. There was no indication that slave-led plantations were becoming unprofitable, therefore, no indication that there was any likelihood that slave trade was going away anytime soon. Who knows how long it would have taken. But it would have cut into interstate trade and our ability to keep up with the industrial revolution.

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.
This is what the previous presidents had been doing for years. They were essentially punting to the next President. There is no assurance that the two sides wouldn't have fought a civil war eventually. And who knows how costly those concessions could have become. They undoubtedly would have SIGNIFICANTLY stalled progress to becoming the superpower we are now.

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.
It was a strategic choice to make firm decisions, whereas the previous administrations tried to negotiate to appease both sides. Which led to continued conflict and tensions. And Lincoln's commitment to the railroad was the right one even if maybe for crooked interests and even if there were some abuses in how the railroad industry handled the power they got.
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