New Lincoln Movie Is Another Obama Promotion?
By Staff News & Analysis - October 10, 2012

Spielberg says "Lincoln" is no political football … Steven Spielberg offered a cinematic vision of President Abraham Lincoln's battle to outlaw slavery in "Lincoln," which had a sneak preview that is already generating early buzz of awards for star Daniel Day-Lewis. After a screening at the New York Film festival on Monday, Spielberg acknowledged the pressure of bringing to the big screen one of America's most revered political figures, and he side-stepped questions about its relevance to current politics ahead of the November 6 U.S. presidential elections. – Yahoo

Dominant Social Theme: This movie, "Lincoln," is just a coincidence.

Free-Market Analysis: As we analyze dominant social themes, we find the Lincoln meme to be ubiquitous. The idea, of course, is that transformative change comes from the state itself and those who are elected "leaders."

The idea of transformative change is not restricted to "leaders" but to any agency of government. Just yesterday we wrote of a movie called "Argo" that celebrated CIA involvement in a rescue in Iran.

But we pointed out that the larger frame of reference was entirely absent. In fact, the CIA and other entities had cooperated in destabilizing Iran in the first place.

This is how these memes are developed. But in covering them here at the Daily Bell we've begun to see a pattern. First of all, many Hollywood movies are developed without an apparent overarching promotional purpose. But the Hollywood mechanism is actually more powerful because it is not entirely controlled.

But certain selected movies are produced at the proper time to reinforce certain themes.

Again, these themes have to do with government generally and the need for regulatory authority. The power elite that wishes for global governance needs to support and expand government in order to realize its larger goals. The mechanism used is mercantilism.

In the US, certain presidents are portrayed in certain ways over and over again to support the necessity of government. Lincoln and the two Roosevelts constitute a trilogy of presidents who are constantly mythologized.

For Spielberg to maintain as he has that this movie is not political is simply inaccurate. Merely MAKING yet another big-budget production film of Lincoln's life is a political statement of sorts. Here's more from the article:

To audience laughter, Spielberg said he had deliberately sought to avoid such entanglements by asking for a release date after the elections. "Lincoln" is due for limited release November 9 and timed for the Hollywood awards season.

"Don't let this political football play back and forth," the Oscar-winning director said he urged distributors, noting the "confusing" aspect in the film that shows how U.S. political parties back in Lincoln's time "traded political places over the last 150 years." …

Two-time Oscar-winning actor Day-Lewis portrays Lincoln as a charismatic, gifted wordsmith and an often quietly determined, skilled politician who risked his popularity to gain enough votes to pass the 13th Amendment – which outlawed slavery – in the U.S. House of Representatives during the final months of 1865.

Irish-British actor Day-Lewis, along with Sally Field who plays his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, stood up to wild applause after the screening, where security was high and filmgoers waited nearly an hour for the movie to begin.

The dialogue-heavy film offers an inside look at the often dry legislative process, and how Lincoln's push for the anti-slavery amendment could have jeopardized the end of the Civil War.

The legislative scrutiny comes as U.S. lawmakers today are often criticized for being too polarized and holding up the legislative process. Spielberg, 66, said the film was not quite finished but called it a "a journey for me unlike any other" in his career.

"We all really felt this was a high bar to reach," Spielberg said of the anticipation and detail required for the film that was shot entirely in Virginia.

In another departure from the history books, Field and screenplay writer Tony Kushner offer a sympathetic depiction of Lincoln's wife as a strong and supportive woman. In the past Todd has often been remembered as much for possible mental instability as being loyal to her husband's political policies.

We can see a number of elite memes playing out here. First, there is the aggrandizement of Lincoln as concerned about "slaves" to the point where he would jeopardize the larger war effort to ensure "freedom."

In point of fact, the Civil War was simply not about slavery. It was an attempt by European and New York Money Power to finally dominate and remove once and for all the power of the Republican South. Slavery was a horrible institution but that was evidently and obviously not why Lincoln went to war.

Second, we can see the review makes an aside to national unity and how legislators worked together back in Lincoln's day for the good of the union. We've written about the emergence of this meme a number of times. You can see one article here:

Can't the Parties Just Get Along?

Finally and unexpectedly, we find a defense of Lincoln's wife. If indeed Spielberg has provided us with a revisionist and more positive assessment of Mary Todd Lincoln, more power to him. But we can't help thinking there is a certain amount of political correctness surrounding this.

So … three elite themes in a single Spielberg movie. It is increasingly clear at this point in his career that like Norman Mailer before him, there are forces within US governance that are employing him for certain purposes.

When successful artists reach a certain point in their career it seems they are increasingly called upon to provide certain projects "for the good of the country." Perhaps Spielberg has reached that point.

It is simply silly for Spielberg to try to claim this movie is not political. Is it aimed at advancing Obama's chances to win re-election? Well, the "buzz" surrounding the movie surely doesn't hurt Obama's persona – as Obama has consciously modeled himself on the myth of Lincoln along with FDR.

After Thoughts

In the larger sense, Spielberg is supporting the institution that Obama is heading. By ennobling it, Spielberg ennobles Obama and garbs his political campaign in a higher moral purpose.

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