When Dictatorship Came to America (Actually It Already Did) by Thomas DiLorenzo
In light of this, can you name which of the delegated powers in the U.S. Constitution allow the president to invade his own country, mass murder his own American citizens, and bomb, burn and plunder their cities? Can you explain how such acts would be consistent with protecting the constitutional liberties of those unfortunate citizens? If you think you can, then congratulations, you are a “Lincoln Scholar.”
If not, do not despair. You are in decent company, including the five living past presidents as of 1861, namely, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan. Lincoln’s predecessor, President James Buchanan of Pennsylvania, stated the truth when he said the following:
Has the Constitution delegated to Congress the power to coerce a State into submission which is attempting to withdraw . . . from the Confederacy [of states]? If answered in the affirmative, it must be on the principle that the power has been conferred upon Congress to declare and to make war against a State. After much serious reflection,
I have arrived at the conclusion that no such power has been delegated to Congress or to any other department of the federal government (Senate Journal, 36th Congress, 2nd Session, 4 December 1860, 15—16).
Unlike Lincoln, James Buchanan was a constitutionalist. His opinion that a president has no constitutional right to invade his own country and murder his fellow citizens has relegated him to the bottom of every ranking of American presidents by the American history profession for generations. This doesn’t mean he was wrong, only that a large segment of the history profession is hopelessly corrupt. Buchanan understood, as did nearly everyone prior to Lincoln, that the states did not give up any of their sovereignty when they ratified the Constitution; they merely delegated several distinct powers to the central government that was designed to act for their mutual benefit.
Buchanan’s position on secession is described in some detail by John Avery Emison in his new book, Lincoln Über Alles: Dictatorship Comes to America. It’s high time that Americans grow up, says Emison, and confront the reality of their own history, as opposed to the childish fairy tales concocted by the court historians of the Church of Lincoln.
As for the other living presidents mentioned above, the New Yorker Millard Fillmore, a former Whig, opposed the war for its duration and never joined the new Republican Party after the Whig Party imploded, as did most Northern Whigs. Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire was a fierce critic of the war and especially of Lincoln’s Stalinist, police-state tactics in suppressing political opposition in the North. New Yorker Martin Van Buren died in 1862 but opposed the war, and John Tyler of Virginia, who also died in 1862, actually served in the Confederate Congress.
These men were all patriotic Americans who understood that waging war against the citizens of any state was an act of treason. They understood this because, unlike Lincoln, they had read, understood, and believed in the Constitution. As Emison points out, Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution defines treason as follows: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort” (emphasis added). As with all the founding documents, “United States” is in the plural, signifying that the free and independent states are united for some specific purpose, in this case in delegating certain powers to the central government, mostly for foreign policy reasons. Treason meant waging war against the citizens of the states, not the government in Washington, D.C. Lincoln’s war was nothing if it was not a war prosecuted by the Republican Party against the Southern states. It was therefore the very definition of treason under the U.S. Constitution.
The Lincoln Cult sometimes claims that the so-called “insurrection clause” of the Constitution (Article 4, Section 4) gives the government the ability to wage war on its own citizens, but this is a gross misreading of the document. Article 4 states: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.”
Lincoln violated the first part of Article 4 by imprisoning members of the Maryland legislature in 1861 and by occupying various southern states, ruling over them with military dictatorships during the war. The war was not a domestic insurrection within the Southern states. But even if one assumes that it was, as Lincoln falsely did, it is important that the second part of Article 4 denotes that the central government cannot interfere in an insurrection within any state unless first invited to do so by the legislature or governor of that state. The governors of the Southern states never invited Lincoln to invade them, bomb their cities, and murder their citizens by the thousands. But then again, Lincoln believed that he was more important than the Constitution.
In his chapter entitled “Secession, the Constitution, and the Law,” Emison devastatingly critiques Lincoln Cultist James McPherson’s one-sentence quip in his (McPherson’s) book, Battle Cry of Freedom, that the states that entered the union after the original thirteen were creatures of the central government and therefore……….