Mary C. Curtis: What ‘Lincoln’ Leaves Out, and Why It Matters





Mary C. Curtis, an award-winning multimedia journalist in Charlotte, N.C., has worked at The New York Times, Charlotte Observer and as national correspondent for Politics Daily. Follow her on Twitter: @mcurtisnc3

After Nov. 6, listening to all the explanations for President Obama’s win, I was surprised at the surprise in some quarters about the enthusiastic participation of certain voters, and troubled by the way those votes were marginalized. It goes something like this: Look at all those blacks and Hispanics and Asians and women and young people who put President Obama over the top. How and why did this happen?

It happened because Americans stood in long lines to exercise a cherished right, and shouldn’t everyone be happy about that? When strict voter ID bills are scrutinized, not because they might unfairly single out some Americans but because they don’t cull out enough of them, then that’s a problem. And when people are shocked that the powerless make their voices heard, then it’s time for a history lesson.

Mitt Romney adviser Stuart Stevens, in The Washington Post, spins his candidate’s defeat into a philosophical win, in part, because after all, he won voters with household incomes over $50,000 a year and a majority of whites. It makes me wonder where the dreams and ideals of those in a different zip code and tax bracket fit in the national imagination. America became the exceptional country Americans brag about because of those folks’ contributions....



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