by Warner Todd Huston | October 11, 2012 6:32 pm
As he unveiled his epic new movie based on Abraham Lincoln’s civil war era presidency, Steven Spielberg said he doesn’t want his film to become a “political football” in today’s presidential election. But as he talked about it further, it seemed as if he went on to say that today’s Republican party is somehow just like the slave-holding Democrats of the antebellum south.
That’s right, Spielberg implied that today’s Republicans are just like the old south’s racist Confederates.
These comments were delivered during a Q & A at the New York Film Festival on Monday, October 8, after he debuted his new film starring Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln, Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, and Tommy Lee Jones as Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, a zealous anti-slavery activist.
Mike Fleming reports that Spielberg delayed the release of his film until just after the election in order to keep his work out of the current presidential election.
“I just said, please don’t release this until the election is over. I didn’t want it to be this political football going back and forth,” Fleming reports Spielberg as saying.
Of course, it is admirable that director Spielberg wants to make sure that a film based on history is not abused as a “political football” in today’s political contest. Unfortunately, Spielberg, a big Obama supporter, went on himself to use history to make modern political points.
After pronouncing his disdain for abusing history for political points, he did just that, saying:
“Because it’s kind of confusing. The parties traded political places over the last 150 years. That in itself is a great story, how the Republican Party went from a progressive party in 1865, and how the Democrats were represented in the picture, to the way it’s just the opposite today. But that’s a whole other story.”
Wait, what? Is Spielberg saying that today’s GOP is somehow just like the evil slave-holding south?
Of course, Spielberg’s total lack of a grasp of this history is a modern trope of the far left. Leftists today are fond of making the blinkered claim that today’s GOP and the Democrats just “switched roles” and the GOP has now taken the role of the old, racist south, especially because the south is now a Republican stronghold.
Today’s leftists love to say that the old, racist, hard-line southern Democrat segregationists simply switched to the Republican Party in the 60s and 70s and that makes today’s GOP “just like” the racist, slave-holding south.
But as Ann Coulter found in her new book Mugged, this is simply a left-wing lie. Today’s GOP is not in any way “just like” the old, slave-holding south. The old racist wing of the Democrat Party did not simply switch parties during the civil rights era.
Coulter points out that only one famously segregationist politician from the south, Strom Thurmond, changed parties from Democrat to Republican. No other outspoken opponent of civil rights jumped the Democrat boat. She also notes that the south has continued to vote heavily for Democrat presidents off and on well into the 1990s.
I’ll add that it has only been the last 10 years or so that the south has seen the rise of a strong southern wing of the Republican Party, too. Only recently have many southern legislatures been taken over and controlled by their state Republicans.
And yet, since 1960 left-wingers have been claiming that all racist Democrats just switched parties from the Democrats to the Republicans. If this were true, why did it take Republicans another forty long years to finally start gaining an upper hand politically in the south?
The truth is, you can trace the GOP’s growth in the south far more to the culture wars of the 80s and later as the traditionally religious and conservative south began to realize that the Democrat Party long ago left American ideals behind and became a far, far left Euro-like party that works against the traditional American values of freedom, personal responsibility, hard work, and a fealty to the U.S. Constitution.
There is another reason that Spielberg and his buddies make this untrue assumption about the south. They prefer their left-wing tropes to real history.
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