by Paul Eidelberg
Revisionist historians aside, or those who do not understand Lincoln’s statesmanship, the Civil War that broke out in America after the 1860 election was over the slavery issue. Stated more precisely, the issue was whether slavery was to be extended to the territories of the United States. At issue, along with slavery, was the Declaration of Independence and its fundamental principle of moral equality.
Lincoln understood that if slavery were extended to the territories, slave states would eventually outnumber free states, in consequence of which, the slave states could readily amend the Constitution and extend slavery to the free states. Of course, the exact opposite would happen if the territories became free states. Lincoln steadfastly opposed the extension of slavery, and this meant civil war. So it was yesterday.
Today, however, the government of the United States, with the servile compliance of the government of Israel, wants to extend slavery via a Palestinian state into the territory called the “West Bank.” I say “slavery” because a Palestinian state would be nothing less than a tyranny, and that means human servitude.
Out of ignorance or interest, the candidates in the U.S. presidential campaign have endorsed a Palestinian state even though reason and experience demonstrate that such a state would be ruled by Arab despots and thereby lead to Israel’s demise. Forgotten are the basic principles of the American Declaration of Independence.
This historical amnesia is making it easier for Senator Barack Obama to win the November presidential election. The political principles that animate Obama are diametrically opposed to those of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration prescribes a philosophy of freedom, of limited government, of individual rights. Obama’s leftwing or socialist principles subordinate the individual to the state or to the collective—the practice of Islam.
The unholy alliance between socialists in America and Islamists is directed against the Judeo-Christian heritage. This heritage subordinates the State to the moral law—the laws of nature and of nature’s God. This is the God of the Bible, the God that created man in His own image. Therein is the source of human equality, of human freedom, of human dignity, of the individual’s unalienable right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The God of the Bible is not the God of the Quran. The Quran divides mankind into believers and “infidels” and decrees that infidels do not have an unalienable right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Going deeper, unlike the God of the Bible, Allah is absolutely transcendent. He is pure will without personality. One consequence of Allah’s absolute transcendence is the impossibility of human free will or choice. Indeed, Islam postulates absolute predestination of all that we think, say and do. The totality of all events is irrevocably fixed, preordained, and recorded from eternity.
Islamic fatalism thus contradicts the free will implied in the Book of Genesis: the account of man’s creation in the image of God. This suggests that Allah is not the God Who created man in His own image.
These ideas, however hidden or esoteric, underlie the issue of a Palestinian state on the one hand, and Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency on the other. I therefore believe that the 2008 election will be no less significant than the Lincoln-Douglas debates preceding the election of 1860. Douglas did not care whether slavery was voted up or down. His position was morally neutral. Moral neutrality describes those who advocate a Palestinian state. (What a pity that Senator McCain and Governor Palin lack the wisdom to so qualify their advocacy of a Palestinian state in such a way as to render such a state problematic.)
Of course, theocratic ideas are not the stuff of political campaigns. Lincoln confined himself to the ideas contained in the Declaration of Independence. (By the way, Congress listed the Declaration as the first among America’s “organic laws” and every congressional enabling act since the Civil War for admission of a new state into the Union included a statutory requirement that the constitution of the new state “Shall not be repugnant to the Declaration of Independence.”)
Also significant in discussing Obama, note that the Preamble of the Constitution begins with the words “We the People …” which signifies the doctrine of popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty implies the idea of the nation-state, in which alone popular sovereignty is possible or at least practicable. Obama, however, is given to socialism which, like Marxism as well as Islam, rejects the nation-state! In fact, consistent with the ideas of his mentors, William Ayers and Saul Alinsky. Obama’s socialism leads (via statism) to globalism. But globalism or world government makes nonsense of popular sovereignty. Indeed, globalism entails elitism and cannot but result in tyranny.
The forthcoming presidential election will therefore determine the fate of the United States.