Thanks for commenting, Mark. I appreciate the thoughtful response.
True, not every American supported all those goals, ideals. The point I was trying to make was that the leaders at the time attempted to unite rather than divide. In the process, they won people over to their side who previously opposed their ideas or goals.
Lincoln is an interesting example, and certainly more complex. The war divided the nation, he united the north to win the war and then united the country (or at least began to before he was assassinated).
I guess we can agree to disagree on your second point. I believe it is the communicator’s responsibility (or leader) to persuade the recipients of his message to his or her point of view. It’s never the follower or the masses responsibility to blindly follow. There may be exceptions in extreme cases, but a mentor drilled that advice into me about fifteen years ago. The lesson: take extreme ownership of your communication and leadership. I still think it was the best advice I’ve ever received.