Years of insurrection have finally led to the government considering amnesty. Some decry it as giving criminals & murders a free ride, others claim it is forgiveness. Some claim it is criminals getting a free ride. They ask how can we possibly forgive those people that killed Americans. The cries of betrayal and backstabbing ring loud in the halls of congress.
You may think I am talking about Iraq in 2006, but I am not. This is what happened in 1863. President Lincoln offered a full pardon to those who were fighting for the Confederacy. He returned their rights and property (minus the slaves) for just a statement of loyalty. This was the precedent set by Abraham Lincoln on December 8th, 1863.
When President Lincoln was assassinated, Andrew Johnson became president. His offer of Amnesty was not so generous. It contained fourteen classes of persons that were excepted from the offer. President Johnson was also of the belief that the Southerners needed to be punished for their crimes against America. This was one of a number of issues that led directly to well over a hundred years of trouble between the North & the South in the United States.
Why discuss this now? Because it appears that Congress has not learned from the mistakes of the past. The US Government is in a similar position to that of the 1860’s. We can forgive or punish. We can learn from the past and not enter into a hundred years of problems just to satisfy the short term blood lust.
President Bush claims that Abraham Lincoln is one the presidents he uses as a model, let him model his compassion and give truth to the claim of Compassionate Conservative.