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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Democrats Were Here BEFORE and TORE the Nation ASUNDER – Consider Lincoln

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 Michael S. Goldstein

The Democrats, through their rhetoric and their actions, are opposing the Trump administration at every turn.  Through Obama administration government holdovers, they intend to bring down the present government and maintain and expand the bureaucratic Administrative State which is destroying federalism, taking away Americans’ individual rights, and nullifying large swaths of the Constitution of the United States.  Their presidential candidate failed to win the office, and the Democrats’ expected triumph of the Administrative State will at best be postponed and at worst be dismantled to a great extent by President Trump and his appointees.

The Democrats are furious, and, as has been reported in these pages and in other sources, their reaction has been militant, irrational, and destructive to our nation.
We have seen this before.  Over 150 years ago the issues were cogently examined and argued by presidential hopeful Abraham Lincoln in his Feb. 27, 1860 address at Cooper Union in New York City.  The issue then was slavery, whether the federal government had a right to prevent its expansion into U.S. territories not yet organized into states.  Because of the Dred Scott U.S. Supreme Court decision, Lincoln predicted that the right to own slaves would spread to the entire nation if Democrats had their way.
Today the issue is the Administrative State and whether it will destroy federalism and our citizens’ G-d given individual rights, some of which are enumerated in the Constitution as amended, and our representative republic.
In 1860 the Democratic Party was divided.  The slave states were the exclusive territory of the Democratic Party.  It was, without argument, the party of slavery.  In the North, the policy of the Democratic Party as to slavery was expounded by its leader, Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, who refused to express an opinion as to whether slavery was good or bad, or whether it should or should not expand into the territories.  In the end, the Democrats attempted to take their slave-holding states out of the Union and tore the nation apart because they held that slavery was a wonderful condition for the slaves, and that some men had a G-d given right to earn their living in leisure at the expense of other men’s sweat and toil.  In consequence, over 600,000 Americans lost their lives in an armed struggle to restore the Union.
Today the Democratic Party would intentionally ruin our unique-in-history federalist and constitutional republic in order to replace it with an Administrative State not far removed from what we read about in Brave New World, 1984, andDarkness at Noon.  Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, teaches a course on tyranny which, for good reason, incorporates these books, among others, in its syllabus.
Lincoln’s Cooper Union address preceded his gaining the presidential nomination of the Republican Party in May 1860 and his election to the office of president of the United States in November of that year.  He was inaugurated in March 1861, by which time seven southern states had already voted to leave the Union.  Comments by Lincoln in his February 1860 Cooper Union address find us nodding our heads because Democrats’ behaviors toward Republicans then are conceptually identical to present-day Democrats’ reactions to the election of Donald Trump to the presidency.  As Mr. Lincoln states:
And now, if they would listen - as I suppose they will not - I would address a few words to the Southern people [Democrats].
I would say to them: - You consider yourselves a reasonable and a just people; and I consider that in the general qualities of reason and justice you are not inferior to any other people. Still, when you speak of us Republicans, you do so only to denounce us a reptiles, or, at the best, as no better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but nothing like it to "Black Republicans." In all your contentions with one another, each of you deems an unconditional condemnation of "Black Republicanism" as the first thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be an indispensable prerequisite - license, so to speak - among you to be admitted or permitted to speak at all. Now, can you, or not, be prevailed upon to pause and to consider whether this is quite just to us, or even to yourselves? Bring forward your charges and specifications, and then be patient long enough to hear us deny or justify. . . .
Lincoln pointed out that the Democrats’ arguments were denying the validity of the policies set by the framers of the Constitution and of our initial American government, “our fathers,” as he said:
But you say you are conservative - eminently conservative - while we are revolutionary, destructive, or something of the sort. What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried? We stick to, contend for, the identical old policy on the point in controversy which was adopted by "our fathers who framed the Government under which we live;" while you with one accord reject, and scout, and spit upon that old policy, and insist upon substituting something new. . . .
Not one of all your various plans can show a precedent or an advocate in the century within which our Government originated. Consider, then, whether your claim of conservatism for yourselves, and your charge or destructiveness against us, are based on the most clear and stable foundations. . . .
This sounds as modern as recent speeches and comments by Senator Schumer:
Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events. . . .
Under all these circumstances, do you really feel yourselves justified to break up this Government unless such a court decision [Dred Scott] as yours is, shall be at once submitted to as a conclusive and final rule of political action? But you will not abide the election of a Republican president! In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!" . . .
The Democrats, then and now, would be satisfied solely by Republican surrender.  Today this means by Republican adoption of the rightness of the imposition of the Administrative State:
A few words now to Republicans. It is exceedingly desirable that all parts of this great Confederacy shall be at peace, and in harmony, one with another. Let us Republicans do our part to have it so. Even though much provoked, let us do nothing through passion and ill temper. Even though the southern people will not so much as listen to us, let us calmly consider their demands, and yield to them if, in our deliberate view of our duty, we possibly can. Judging by all they say and do, and by the subject and nature of their controversy with us, let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy them. . . .
Will they be satisfied if the Territories be unconditionally surrendered to them? We know they will not. In all their present complaints against us, the Territories are scarcely mentioned. Invasions and insurrections are the rage now. Will it satisfy them, if, in the future, we have nothing to do with invasions and insurrections? We know it will not. We so know, because we know we never had anything to do with invasions and insurrections; and yet this total abstaining does not exempt us from the charge and the denunciation. . . .
The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone, but we must somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them, is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them. . . .
In my reading of this following paragraphs, I replace the word “slavery” with the term “the Administrative State” when considering the Democratic Party’s present goal:
These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly - done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated - we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas' new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.
I am quite aware they do not state their case precisely in this way. Most of them would probably say to us, "Let us alone, do nothing to us, and say what you please about slavery." But we do let them alone - have never disturbed them - so that, after all, it is what we say, which dissatisfies them. They will continue to accuse us of doing, until we cease saying.  . . .
If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored - contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man - such as a policy of "don't care" on a question about which all true men do care - such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance - such as invocations to Washington, imploring men to unsay what Washington said, and undo what Washington did.
Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH, LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT.
These are the words of the father of the Republican Party, words for us to live by and to act upon.  It is up to our majority party, both those in office and those who are not, to get this done, to deliver us from the pernicious destruction of our constitutional republic by the Administrative State.

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