Spielberg captures the politics and the personalities of the moments surrounding the passing of the 13th amendment to the US Constitution. To most Americans, this was probably a moment not thought of much, but without the 13th and 14th amendments, our nation, and the world, would be much different.
This was a political battle the likes of which we have rarely seen. The bloodiest war in American history was drawing to a close. The nation had long since grown weary of the brutality. Abraham Lincoln had just been elected to his second term, and he knew that if the loss of 700,000 lives was to mean anything, the issue of slavery would have to be dealt with. Time was running out.
Spielberg makes two political points very clear with this movie. First, Republicans were united behind Lincoln to put an end to the horror of slavery once and for all. Democrats were racist and pro-slavery and they fought the amendment every step of the way. This point was not made in the movie, but it should be noted, the Republican Party was founded to fight slavery.
Second, politics is messy business. If the President wants something to happen, he uses his power to make it happen by working with members of both parties, and if he has to, he will knock some heads around. Lincoln also had no problem buying votes from Democrats to get what he wanted. This issue was that big to him, and to a nation severely divided.
Some may try to compare what Lincoln did with the 13th amendment to what Barack Obama has done with ObamaCare. They would be foolish to make that comparison. Like Lincoln, Obama wanted badly to get the legislation passed, but other than that...
Democrats should've tried to make ObamaCare constitutional by passing it as the 28th amendment. They did not because they knew it had no chance of passing. Like Lincoln, Obama and Harry Reid bought votes, but they had to buy the votes of fellow Democrats. Then knew no Republicans would vote for this monstrosity of a bill, so they played total partisan politics and used our tax dollars to bribe fellow Democrats to vote for ObamaCare.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the 13th amendment and ObamaCare is that one increases Liberty, the other decreases it, other than that...
Few who watch this movie will not learn something they did not know about history. The timing of Congress ratifying the 13th amendment, the end of the Civil War, and the death of Lincoln speaks to the divine nature of what Lincoln was doing. Or, call it fate if you wish---Lincoln felt his cause was divine and that he had to get the amendment passed quickly.
Another point that makes this movie relevant to politics in our day; Democrats are still working to enslave minorities. Black scholars have argued that the government entitlements have decimated the black family. Only the most leftist among us would argue otherwise. In modern history it began with Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson's so-called "war on poverty." 150 years ago Democrats enslaved blacks because they were racist, today they do it because they want the power minority votes will bring. Government handouts given to this degree can only enslave.
Lincoln is a must see because of its deft display of history---and for what we can learn today.
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