Yes, to a couple points you make.
- People have an “idea of Lincoln” without really reading what he said… and they do it today as well No one practices the art of actually listening to what the person says or where they are coming from. “I don’t like him so whatever he says is bad.” Someone else her wrote an excellent essay about the postmodern roots of our suspicious ways of reading the news.
- Hostility between parties is definitely not new, as you point out, too. Aaron Burr, our VP shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Hamilton is still in circulation on our ten dollar bills
- One of my heroes is U S Grant. He’s maligned by some but Lincoln put him in charge of the Union armies because he would get the job done.