Go see the movie.
Remind yourself of the time in our national history when we acknowledged that our liberties came from our Creator God. And that preserving those liberties took sacrifice.
Republicans, especially, need this movie after the drubbing we experienced on election day.
This movie celebrates one of the Republican Party’s most spectacular achievements, freeing the slaves. Note – as a reminder against partisan one-sidedness – that members of both parties backed this constitutional amendment.
Freeing the slaves was just one of a series of nation-changing Republican initiatives. Those included the transcontinental railroad, homestead land for farmers willing to work it, creating land grant colleges like CSU, the mining act (foreshadowed by Colorado Republican Jerome Chaffee) that opened our nation’s resources for job creation, the national parks (Yellowstone was created by one of the movie’s participants, U.S. Grant).
All triumphs for ordinary, regular Americans.
We Republicans, in this deficit era, need to recall government’s affirmative role in allowing our citizenry to prosper through hard work.
We are still capable of greatness; we just need to find it in ourselves.
The hospital scene of Lincoln and recovering injured soldiers remind us that today’s Medicare and Medicaid are the distant heirs of Civil War military hospitals that treated 20,000 wounded soldiers at at time. (It may have been Walt Whitman’s Civil War notes and poetry that prompted the scene in the movie of discarded amputated limbs.)
When you see the movie’s preferment seekers crowded in the public rooms of the White House, grubbing for special advancement, remind yourself that today’s equivalent is Sarah Fluke. And ruefully acknowledge that the constitutional amendment that freed the slaves required Lincoln to deal with such people.
At the showing I attended, the audience surprised itself into laughter … as politics, 1860s style, reminded them of this year’s shabby political doings.
If Republicans are to win again, we need more than our accountant’s eyeshades (like those worn by the telegraph operator in the movie). American elections are not won on federal accounting.
It’s time for us to find the central vision that will bring us together as a people.
There is an alternative … a sad and sorry one.
Duke University Professor Sunshine Hillygus said (at the University of Denver) that micro-campaigning, like Obama’s, produces victories but no mandates. When a candidate offers hundreds of separate messages (Hillygus tabulated them for 2012) of why to support him, the resulting personalized agenda means there is majoritarian support for nothing.
There’s got to be something better than Obama’s “Tax the rich to get your goodies.”
Go see the movie.