Leer en Español
No single figure has been more important in preserving freedom and America’s democracy than Abraham Lincoln. While that may appear a broad affirmation, there are two fundamental reasons for why this is so. As we celebrate the 212th anniversary of his birth this February 12th, it is important to look back into history and render a more profound appreciation for the vision, will, and work of the nation’s 16th president. There is a historical similarity between the United States of then and of now.
The 1776 Revolution was an unfinished one. It was incomplete because of the scrooge of slavery in a newly form confederation of colonies that, despite the adaptation of the Constitution (1789) thus replacing the loose and weak Articles of Confederation (1781), the federal system with its stronger national government, still had to face the inconsistences between the American moral magna carta, the Declaration of Independence (Declaration), its reliance on natural law for ethical guidance and the institution of slavery.
The second problem was that slavery was, for the southern part of the country, an economic appendage of its mode of production, geography, and culture established different social arrangements. The underlying dilemma between the inherent contradictions of the primacy of natural rights espoused in the Declaration and the geographic and cultural separation exhibited produced in practice two different social pacts. Lincoln understood that this discordant set of facts would, in due course, generate friction so great, that a national rupture would be eminent.
During the second of seven debates with Stephen Douglas in 1858 for the Illinois senate seat, Lincoln said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved…but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.” The great divide facing America in Lincoln’s time was not one of opposing schemes of relations of production per se, as Marxists like to erroneously point out, but rather one of moral contradictions.
The notion that “inalienable rights” had to be extended to every American, was Lincoln’s point. The United States had outlawed the import of African slaves by 1808, a lamentable trade that began in 1619. The fact that this measure was taken, demonstrates that slavery was for most of the American republic, something dreadful. Continuously thereafter, resolutions seeking to limit the expansion of its existing practice were a constant. The Republican Party was, in fact, wholly a fusion between the antislavery portion of the Whig Party, the Free Soil, Liberty Party, and the antislavery Democratic Party members. In other words, it was antislavery to the core. Curiously, it was the total opposite of the Democratic Party, a proslavery political organization.
No longer being able to sustain the legislative limitations put forth by the North and the free states and territories, the proslavery South predictably seceded and went to war, once Lincoln, the antislavery candidate, won the presidency. The great divide caused by slavery and the double set of civil and political rights for Americans which were determined mainly by geography, skin color, and conventionally acquired “free” status, ultimately had to be settled by war. It took a clear winner in the battlefield to resolve America’s differences. The gradualist approach which the Founders had hoped would solve the issue, proved unattainable. There is a great parallelism between the United States of Lincoln’s day and America today.
The great divide today is not a racial or an “injustice” problem, although that is what the Marxists want Americans to believe. It does have to do, however, with Marxism and an overarching Marxist-inspired and culturally focused stratagem that seeks to deconstruct and remake America in a socialist image. Elites composed of the technological oligarchy, mass media, powerful business, influential labor leaders, and the hierarchy of today’s Democratic Party, have formed a cabal, as Time so convincingly related, and are poised to achieve hegemonic control. Think of it, six coastal cities and the political class they have elected, are spearheading this systemic overhaul intent.
The conservative, faith-based, family-oriented, patriotic, pro-free enterprise America, in other words, the majority of the nation’s citizens, are being censored, ostracized into internal exile, and canceled from society. This is only the beginning. If unstopped, they will be prosecuted for nonconforming, deviant behavior. Will this great divide find amelioration by reformist approaches? Can the Republic be saved civilly? Time will tell. However, what must be permanency is the uncompromising, moral rectitude of the Great Emancipator. Lincoln and his unwavering will and resolve to defend freedom at all cost, should be our exclusive course to follow.
Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.