In the wake of the Charleston, South Carolina Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shootings on June 18, 2015, Governor Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the State capital’s flagpole. Regrettably, even if her call for action is successful, it would do no more to change the reasons behind the hatred that drives one human to kill others than legislation to ban the “N” word would go towards closing the inaccurately named “racial” divide.
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.