If, At First, You Don't Secede...
What a coincidence. It is intriguing to watch
I wonder, how far would the 13th Amendment have gotten in today's age of Twitter and cable TV news-talk shows? Would black folks still be in slavery? Would
The odd parallels between the two eras illustrate
The movie recounts in a bracing and yet thoroughly entertaining fashion how the newly re-elected President Lincoln hunted for votes, one lame-duck congressman at a time. His goal: to end slavery with the 13th Amendment even as the last battles of the Civil War raged on. His means: beg, borrow or buy as many votes as he needs for passage.
To avoid getting his own hands dirty, Lincoln employs a crew of political hacks whom we follow through the often-amusing chores of trading patronage jobs and other "gifts," to use a famous
Since crucial support for the anti-slavery amendment will evaporate if the South surrenders first, we see in scenes of Hitchcock-like suspense Lincoln and his allies pushing for a vote while he secretly stalls the approach of Confederate representatives from
One can easily imagine how, in today's fevered political media environment ol' Honest Abe would be ripped by conservative commentators for his "Illinois-style politics."
Yet politics in
Lincoln's ability to surround himself with "strong men" yet emerge, as Goodwin notes, "as the strongest of them all" contrasts sharply with today's deep
Such is the heated atmosphere that gives birth to today's secession fever. It started in
One of the more eloquent (and printable in family newspaper) expressions of support for secession can be found on Rep.
No, but we already have a mechanism for making government accountable. It's called an election. Paul had ample opportunities to present his grievances, and I support some of his views, such as his opposition to federal intrusion in states that have decriminalized marijuana.
Nevertheless, even his own party rejected the popular congressman and his agenda after he enjoyed a brief spell as its frontrunner in some polls.
Besides, even most Texans oppose secession, judging by a 2009 Rasmussen Reports poll that found only 18 percent would vote to secede. More recently, the secession petitions have been joined by anti-secession petitions of various sorts. Perhaps the secessionists should consider self-deportation.
The big lesson of "Lincoln" is that democratic governance of a large, diverse republic requires compromises. You can't always get what you want, but we can work together across partisan lines to get what we need.
And if at first you don't secede, wait until the next election.
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If, At First, You Don't Secede... | Politics
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