When did we trade the idea of public servants for the false idols of power and privilege? When did we trade governing for campaigning? And when did we trade valuing those with the best ideas for rewarding those with the most money?
Lincoln, self-educated, a versatile and critical thinker, questioned prevailing assumptions of his day, and, in his search for truth, drew upon mathematical axioms as a storehouse of principles he might apply to his political philosophy.
We need to make it clear that addressing modern slavery is not only a human rights issue, it's a function of our identity. We're creating controversy over something incontrovertible. The very shape of Lincoln's shadow is an icon of freedom.
While much of the hoopla at the Writers Guild Awards was focused on the film nominees as a ramp up to Oscars, the category most associated with the fastest growing medium on earth went largely unnoticed. And Michael Cyril Creighton was crowned king of that world.
In the digitally (or otherwise) enhanced narrative, even the foibles and faults contribute towards the endgame as the leader gets to goal. Unfortunately, outside the movie-house, we have to contend with the most spectacular of our leaders who inexplicably fail us in spectacular ways.
In the 2012 movie Lincoln, Stevens is cast as the radical whom Lincoln must tame to ensure passage of the 13th Amendment. This is Hollywood drama. The ardent abolitionist was as cagey a politician as Lincoln, and needed no persuasion to support his life's goal.
Lincoln, Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated movie about the great president's struggle to get Congressional approval for the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery, gets 53-year-old Ohio History teacher Paul LaRue's approval for bringing American history alive.
America has serious issues to deal with, many of them raised by Obama in his laundry list State of the Union addresses. But let's not pretend the State of the Union itself is not an empty institution -- bloated, hollow, self-congratulatory, increasingly shallow, largely irrelevant.