The Better Angels of Our Nature

A recent article from the Washington Post quotes director Steven Spielberg about his new movie, Lincoln:

“This is a good time to reintroduce Lincoln to the country,” the director argued at his New York office recently, “in a period of time when the ground will still be smoldering after the first Tuesday in November.”

Though the trailers have left me wondering whether the film will be too cute by a half, this does nothing to detract from the person of our nation’s 16th president.  There are, after all, clear reasons why Mr. Lincoln is often ranked at the top of presidential rating lists.  He led a divided nation–quite literally the most divided it has ever been–yet realized that there were matters more profound at work than simple victory.

Delivered near the end of the Civil War, he closed his second inaugural address with the following:

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.

And so, as our thoughts turn–as on a dime–from a sometimes bitter campaign to a new post-election world, may we think about the work ahead of us as a nation.

Lincoln premieres in wide release on 16 November.

 

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One comment on “The Better Angels of Our Nature

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