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Review of Lincoln (the movie) by C. Jay Engel

C.Jay Engel

By | C.Jay Engel lives Northern California with his wife, where he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. C.Jay also writes on his own blog at You can also follow him on twitter.

As I walked away from the movie, an older man behind me whispered to his friend: “that movie should have come out ten years ago.  What a needed story for our time.”  Needed? I’m not so sure.  But the timing was impeccable.  With the recent talk of frustrated citizens storming the White House petition website demanding the allowance of secession, perhaps this movie, which portrayed the closest the United States has ever come to a break up, was reinforcement of “unity above principle.”  A disturbing political tendency that haunts our current political climate.  “Uniting” together as one nation in “times of trouble” has been the public goal of leaders, not only in the American narrative, but throughout countries worldwide, including and especially those countries considered to be overseen by tyrannical or dictatorial leaderships.

The Lincoln movie was everything I expected it to be and more.  Lousy historical scholarship, a sense of positive bubbling emotion for one of our country’s worst presidents, and a praiseworthy cast.  Tommy Lee Jones was outstanding as a supporting actor and, in my opinion, stole the show.  Sally Fields too did well in portraying the wife of President Lincoln, a role that demanded her to be a frustrated and constantly ill woman, full of contradicting and bi polar emotions.  Of course Daniel Day-Lewis was a spectacular choice for the seemingly depressed, yet always thoughtful President who faced a unique crisis in American history.  One might have been left, at the end of the two and a half hour movie, feeling rather frustrated with the South and their ever-so-racist ways.  But glad with all the hard work that Lincoln did in his second term on behalf of the slavery issue.

In 1832, Lincoln begins his career as a politician with a bang, saying things like:

“I presume you all know who I am. I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by many friends to become a candidate for the legislature. My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank…in favor of the internal improvements system and a high protective tariff.”

Central banking, corporate welfare, high taxation; portrayed as an “old woman’s dance.”  The perfect and masterful politician indeed.

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