The movie was focused on the tremendous difficulty of getting the 13th amendment (abolishing slavery) passed. A gripping saga and one earning my complete respect for the outrageous courage those steps forward towards justice took on the parts of individuals that lived in a time when an enlightened perspective was hard come by.
Since slavery was abolished, there have been many other hardwon freedoms battled for. That stretching of ourselves into fair and just beings continues to this day. It feels, sometimes, like humanity is inching towards freedom, equality and justice in such small increments over such long periods of time. Lincoln seemed to grasp that you cannot get people to move faster than they are ready for. His conscience wanted him to take leaps, and his pragmatism knew if he tried to leap too quickly out of sheer passion and conviction, all movement towards more freedom for more beings would abort. Such incalculable restraint and persistence and patience he must have had to have summoned.
I don't think it is any accident this movie came out at this time. Humanity is in such need of another kind of emancipation and I earnestly believe that these are the times where a leap towards another level of freedom is ready to be taken. We would all do well to look to Lincoln as a model for how in the world are we going to make some of the leaps in front of us. His character will show the way. And go see this very fine movie.