‘Team of Rivals’
I urge everyone to see the movie “Lincoln.” Directed by Steven Spielberg it is a historical drama that has valuable insight for us in these divisive times for our country.
The film is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Lincoln, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.” It covers the final four months of Lincoln’s life, focusing on Lincoln’s efforts in January 1865 to have the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution pass the United States House of Representatives.
Eleven southern states seceded from the United States. The country was ripped apart by a Civil War. In his second inaugural speech Lincoln sought to avoid harsh treatment of the defeated South by reminding his listeners of how wrong both sides had been in imagining what lay before them when the war began four years earlier. Lincoln did not back down from the evil of slavery.
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” — (Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865)
These are Lincoln’s words to begin to heal a wounded and divided nation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated.
Lincoln was willing to take on tough issues and work with his rivals to move our great nation forward. Is that too much to ask all our elected leaders to do now? “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” — George Santayana.