Unfortunately, too many people today do not understand the actual historical causes of the war that set brother against brother and State against State. It is unfortunate, because that war encompasses many fundamental causes of current American problems and without understanding its true cause we will be unable to repair what went wrong or prevent it from happening in the future.
The case against secession was best made before 1861 by James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln, the 15th and 16th Presidents of the United States. Buchanan made his case during his December 3, 1860 State of the Union address and Lincoln made his case during his March 4, 1861 first inaugural address. Unfortunately for their cases against secession, their speeches were filled with a smorgasbord of logical fallacies and unsupported political rhetoric.
Their speeches also showcase how politicians mislead the public, wittingly or unwittingly, into policies that are destructive to the entire nation. The war that transpired as a result of the general acceptance of their rhetoric was completely unnecessary and avoidable. Its prevention required a President willing to act within constitutional bounds and only resort to war for a just cause and then only as the very last resort to restore justice under God’s Law.
Much of the world’s current instability in relation to the United States can be traced to a lack of a cohesive long term foreign policy and American interventionism. Although, America’s foreign policy changes with every incoming presidential administration in which each President decides, based on political expediency, in what countries he will interfere and what polices he will pursue, one thing remains constant from administration to administration, interventionism.
As a result of interventionism, neither America’s allies nor its enemies know what to expect out of America from one four year period to the next, except that America will interfere or not interfere with their sovereignty if it fits the political agenda of the elected President. Recent examples of this include involvement in the Contra War in the 1980s, the Kosovo War in the 1990s, and the Iraq War in the 2000s.
In addition to active involvement in the internal affairs of other governments, America’s foreign military bases, financial support for foreign governments, and membership in collective security agreements such as NATO, SEATO and the UN are symptomatic of our interventionist foreign policy.
Many Americans are waking up to the seemingly insurmountable problems caused by decades of failed policies and short term “fixes” to systemic issues by both political parties. Most Americans do not understand the root cause of many modern issues and consequently support polices that increase problems instead of resolving them. The key to understanding the root cause of most modern national issues is in understanding Lincoln’s political agenda and how he violated the Constitution to achieve it.