The movie, Lincoln, may not be totally accurate historically. Who cares? The Iliad wasn’t an accurate historical account of the war between a union of Hellenic people against a city in Asia Minor. Yet heroic acts are exalted, the courage of men as well, and these values have inspired us through scores of generations. Lincoln had to face an existential challenge to the union, and to deal with it he had to use guile, pressure, and yes even prevaricate.
The gun problem isn’t the issue of slavery, although many have noted that in perverse ways it does enslave us all with fear and a desire for isolation rather than hope and faith in community, until these virtues are re-discovered in the face of unspeakable tragedy. President Obama must take a stand! He will not succeed, however, until he masters the political skills of that other shy, tall, lanky figure from Illinois. He must, as Lincoln did, overwhelm a seemingly invincible contrary force. If he can do it, he will not only help contain and conquer this problem, but may also find these skills can make his second presidency one of the greatest in our history.
Jorge Willemsen, Coral Gables