Debate on Lincoln Legacy February 13, 2010

Bill Ford and Mike Flores will debate “Did Abraham Lincoln Do More Harm or Good to the United States of America?” at the College of Complexes on February 13, 2010.

Contrary to his popular image, some historians claim that Abraham Lincoln supported slavery, defended slave owners’ rights, and that his legendary Emancipation Proclamation was merely a military tactic that did not free anyone. Furthermore, Lincoln’s war violated the states’ right to secede from the Union, nullifying a key constitutional protection against abuses of power by the federal government.

Jim Tobin, President of the Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation, encourages all to attend the debate and noted “With Lincoln’s birthday on February 12, this topic is a timely opportunity to learn about the impact of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency on what was once our Constitutional Republic. By crushing our right to secede from the federal union, Lincoln made possible all subsequent unconstitutional federal government programs and growth of the federal tax monster. The economic damage done to our country by Lincoln’s legacy is manifest today and worse lies in wait for our children and grandchildren.”

The College of Complexes was formed in 1951 as a “Playground for People Who Think.” Meetings are open to the public each Saturday at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, starting at 8 p.m. There is a $3 fee to attend and individual dinner purchases prior to the meeting are appreciated. For more information about the College of Complexes, visit

Download a print copy of this news advisory

2 Responses to “Debate on Lincoln Legacy February 13, 2010”

  1. Chuck Sweeny says:

    Jim, what’s your view on Lincoln? Your news release doesn’t make clear where you stand.
    Are you a paleoconservative who believes Lincoln led the way to the Leviathan State, or did he bind the Union by waging all out war on the rebels and save the Union?
    Your news release does present only the “Paleo” view, so I wondered where you stand.
    Being anti-Lincoln in modern-day Illinois is peculiar, but it is not unprecedented. Check out some of the writings of the Rockford Institute in Chronicles magazine.
    Some of them have flirted with the modern day secessionists, The League of the South.
    Do you think states have a right to secede? Or did the Civil War settle that?

  2. admin says:

    To answer your question, the commentaries we have published on Lincoln do reflect my views.

    There is nothing that “radical” or “extremist” about what we wrote. A review of books and academic articles on Lincoln is all that is needed to dispel the myths that over time have been created and accepted about this president.

    Most people believe that Lincoln was the “Great Emancipator,” that he was so devoted to the concept of a Union that he kept it together at all costs; that he actually freed the slaves. Nothing could be further from the truth. The war was about money and taxes.

    History tells us something very different:

    • Until the 1860s, secession was assumed to be a natural right. Lincoln destroyed that right.

    • Lincoln, to the day he died, admitted that the war was being fought to deny Southerners the right to secession. The Southern States stood in Lincoln’s goal to create a mercantilist state. Lincoln cared little about Southern blacks, and at one point suggested deporting them to Africa. His Emancipation Proclamation was delayed until after the North finally won some battles, and it freed the slaves in the South only in theory; it was strictly a political ploy.

    • As the commentaries pointed out, Lincoln evolved into a de facto dictator. His administration threw thousands of opponents of the war in the North into prison. He and his administration shut down dozens of Northern newspapers that opposed his policies.

    In the South, Lincoln is viewed very differently than he is in the North. First the South bore the brunt of his taxes. Then it bore the brunt of his armies.

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