It is rather cold comfort, but the current time in America is not the only time when political parties and personalities destroy each other's reputations and ignore facts. Of course I knew that already, but the vehemence of the three decades before the Civil War comes out in David and Jeanne Heidler's destined-to-be-an-epic=unless-the-forces-of-revisionism-get-to-it "Henry Clay: The Essential American.
Abraham Lincoln admired Clay, and always valued the Kentuckian highly. Like all politicos, Clay had a large ego and made his share of errors. Upon his death in 1852, the train bearing his body from Washington, DC to Kentucky was routed through Philadelphia, New York, and Ohio so that crowds could pay tribute to him.
There is one section from the book I want to quote now:
"Rather than the often repeated adage that the victors write the history of an event,
the story of anything is actually determined by the unswerving adoption of one version
of it, and the telling of that version by a determined cadre of writers. In time, the version
with the most persistent adherents becomes the "truth/" Thus propaganda becomes history"
Kindle locations 8059-62 in Chapter 11 "Three Campaigns"
In a time when the media and Internet are filled with incessant repetitions of lies, calumnies, and half-truths, we have merely accelerated the process of political and civic stagnation and animosity. Josef Goebbels' statement applies today as well, even in a democracy:
That is a long URL, isn't it? To conclude, Henry Clay is more than someone who officially ran for President three times and lost, and tried to run three more times but lost the nomination. He is more than a Harold Stassen (whose 1968 Republican Convention demonstration of support consisted of two people carrying signs). To see who Clay was, I heartily recommend the Heidlers' biography.