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Lincoln Movie Illustrates The Blessings of Liberty

“Secured by immense power”

by Adam J. White

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, portraying the president’s battle to abolish slavery at the end of the Civil War, illustrates one of the fundamental paradoxes inherent in constitutional democracy: that sometimes high principle can be vindicated only through low politicking. In the last week, myriad political commentators have explored the implications and applications of that point. But by focusing on “Lincoln the politician,” this debate assumes, or at least presumes, an even more significant paradoxical truth: That very political system needed to secure our liberties is sustainable only because the government is empowered to violate our liberties. Continue reading


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