kaitak
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Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:59 pm

I've just had the pleasure of watching Steven Spielberg's latest work, "Lincoln", which I enjoyed immensely. I have to say that my enjoyment was considerably added to by the fact that I'm now a third of the way through Doris Goodwin's book, "Team of Rivals", on which the film is loosely based; it helps to know at least some of the characters! Unfortunately, though a history buff, I'm nothing like as au fait with 19th century American history as I would like to be.

Daniel Day Lewis's performance as Lincoln is superb; he is shown as a tender and gentle, yet very determined human being. Doris Goodwin's emphasised three key qualities that Lincoln brought - a very keen intellect (he was largely self taught), a very forgiving nature (vital in a civil war situation, but in politics generally) and perseverance, in that he suffered a great deal of personal reversal and knocks in his life; this part was probably not as evident in the movie, but by necessity, it had to focus on a key part of his presidency.

There are some superb performances; Lee Mead (from the short running but very enjoyable comedy, Pushing Daisies) has a very good role as one of the pro-slavery democrats; David Strathairn is excellent as Sewell, as is Sally Field (where has she been all this time!) for her role as Mrs. Lincoln, but the Oscar nomination for best supporting actor was thoroughly deserved by Tommy Lee Jones.

It's a movie which I think everyone should see, but - and this reflects of lack of deep knowledge of US history - it left me with a big question, as indeed does the book. Lincoln, along with Chase and Sewell, is regarded as one of the founders of the Republican Party, but this Republican party was founded on (among other things) opposition to slavery, whereas it was the Democrats who are (if you'll forgive a very simplistic phrase) the "bad guys" here. We know today that since the Civil Rights Act of 1965, most states in the deep south are solidly Republican and the Republicans today are widely perceived as the party most associated with racism and segregation (and again, forgive me for this rather brutal generalisation). So, my question is: how did the party of Lincoln, so instrumental in having slavery abolished, become the Republican party we know today? How did it lose the Lincoln spirit?

[Edited 2013-01-27 10:00:24]
 
Superfly
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RE: Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:46 pm

Haven't seen the movie yet. I'll eventually get around to seeing it at some point.
To be honest, both parties are the "bad guys" but perhaps this guy can give you a quick explanation on US history and the supposed 'switch' in parties.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n64OY6XaxSY
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AeroWesty
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RE: Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:25 pm

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
So, my question is: how did the party of Lincoln, so instrumental in having slavery abolished, become the Republican party we know today? How did it lose the Lincoln spirit?

In very simple terms, it was the split in support for (the Democrat) FDR's 'New Deal' during the Great Depression, which federalized social programs, that formed the platforms of the Democrats and Republicans we know today. Those who backed FDR and social liberalism became the backbone of the Dems, while those who were "conservative", opposing the ideals of modern welfare systems, regulation of business, and the endorsement of labor unions, settled into the Republican party.
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Boeing717200
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RE: Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:37 pm

I'm pretty sure that your confusion stems from an assumption that Republicans are somehow racist, which is what you're implying by bringing up the south. If you listen to the press and a few nut jobs you might think that. You'd think differently of Democrats if you listened a few of their screwballs. Unfortunately there is bias in the media that helps create this view. It just shows how little people ( including some who call themselves Republican ) actually know about the Republican Party.

[Edited 2013-01-27 12:39:33]
 
BMI727
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RE: Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:53 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
Those who backed FDR and social liberalism became the backbone of the Dems, while those who were "conservative", opposing the ideals of modern welfare systems, regulation of business, and the endorsement of labor unions, settled into the Republican party.

The south was still solidly blue until the 1960s.

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 3):
I'm pretty sure that your confusion stems from an assumption that Republicans are somehow racist, which is what you're implying by bringing up the south

It has more to do with the South being racist. Republicans lost much, or most, of the South in pretty much every election before 1972. In 1956, the South was pretty much the only place the Democrats won and in 1968 several states voted for George Wallace who ran on a pro-segregation platform.

It's almost as if the rednecks have not forgiven LBJ for helping end segregation. He made many mistakes, but that was not one of them.
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Maverick623
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RE: Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:10 pm

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
So, my question is: how did the party of Lincoln, so instrumental in having slavery abolished, become the Republican party we know today?

The answer, while quite simple, is buried among layers of crap:

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 3):
bias in the media

Remember, it was Democratic Congressmen with a Democratic President that pushed through Don't Ask, Don't Tell, although Clinton probably personally supported gays serving openly, political pressure "forced" him into signing it.
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AeroWesty
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RE: Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:01 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
The south was still solidly blue until the 1960s.

Not entirely correct. Four of the southern states voted for Strom Thurmund as a third-party candidate in the 1948 presidential election. The seeds had been planted.
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MD-90
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RE: Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:33 pm

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
Daniel Day Lewis's performance as Lincoln is superb; he is shown as a tender and gentle, yet very determined human being.

Lincoln the butcher was tender and gentle?
 
4holer
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RE: Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:13 am

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 3):
I'm pretty sure that your confusion stems from an assumption that Republicans are somehow racist, which is what you're implying by bringing up the south. If you listen to the press and a few nut jobs you might think that. You'd think differently of Democrats if you listened a few of their screwballs. Unfortunately there is bias in the media that helps create this view. It just shows how little people ( including some who call themselves Republican ) actually know about the Republican Party.

I'd like to take your word for it, but I live in Arizona. Here, the Republicans are open about, and even take special pride in, their zeal in keeping non-whites in their place. I'm an Independent who can't vote Republican because they are so hung up on that subject.
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:05 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
It's almost as if the rednecks have not forgiven LBJ for helping end segregation. He made many mistakes, but that was not one of them.

I forget exactly who, but some famous politician or other is quoted as saying to LBJ that the Dems will never win another Southern State if segregation ends...

Quoting 4holer (Reply 8):


Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 3):
I'm pretty sure that your confusion stems from an assumption that Republicans are somehow racist, which is what you're implying by bringing up the south. If you listen to the press and a few nut jobs you might think that. You'd think differently of Democrats if you listened a few of their screwballs. Unfortunately there is bias in the media that helps create this view. It just shows how little people ( including some who call themselves Republican ) actually know about the Republican Party.

I'd like to take your word for it, but I live in Arizona. Here, the Republicans are open about, and even take special pride in, their zeal in keeping non-whites in their place. I'm an Independent who can't vote Republican because they are so hung up on that subject.

Right. I don't think a lot of Republicans are racist per se, & I don't see any platform that specifically endorses it (though the entire IDs for Voting thing is extremely suspect at best). Having that been said, yes, the GOP is where racists will tend to gravitate, as a lot of their ideals are inline with modern racism. I liken it to a "Typhoid Mary" situation more than anything else. And truth be told, a lot of republicans and their representatives would no doubt be in favor of segregation again if it somehow became the popular thing to do. I find it disturbing in general how many republicans like to begin sentences with "Now I'm not a racist, but..."

Quoting 4holer (Reply 8):
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.

We'll see you down in Arizona Bay,  
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Superfly
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RE: Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:50 am

I've met plenty of Democrats that are racist too and very open about it.
Not fair to claim that one party is racist. Both parties have their fair-share of backwards people.
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Rara
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RE: Lincoln - The Movie. A Most Thought Provoking Work

Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:35 am

As to the movie: I thought it was alright, but not a masterpiece. Daniel Day Lewis was brilliant and very convincing. Other than that, it was a little too conventional at times. You could sense that the movie was made in politically very divided times in America - it tried very hard not to step on anyone's toes. The way the Confederates were portrayed... very clearly designed not to anger anyone in the South. Not to say that's a bad thing, it was just a little too obvious.

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
So, my question is: how did the party of Lincoln, so instrumental in having slavery abolished, become the Republican party we know today? How did it lose the Lincoln spirit?

This is an interesting read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 3):
I'm pretty sure that your confusion stems from an assumption that Republicans are somehow racist, which is what you're implying by bringing up the south. If you listen to the press and a few nut jobs you might think that. You'd think differently of Democrats if you listened a few of their screwballs. Unfortunately there is bias in the media that helps create this view. It just shows how little people ( including some who call themselves Republican ) actually know about the Republican Party.

Ah come on, let's stay realistic here. Of course not every Republican is racist, or even a majority. Still, if a racist in America (and yes, there are some) is politically active, it's far more likely to be in the Republican than in the Democratic party. Anecdotal evidence nonewithstanding. Likewise, Democrats aren't Communists, but if someone is a Communist she's more likely to be found in the Democratic than the Republican party.
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