A reader writes:
Lincoln wearing an open collar and a beard suggests a man trying to be true to himself in the Shakespearean sense that "thou can'tst not then be false to any man," a quality sadly lacking in today's politicians. He wasn't born into a family that wore tight collars, and though it might have furthered his political career, he never pretended he was. He had pretty radical ideas for his time, too, like believing African Americans deserved to be paid for their labor. He didn't hide who he was or what he thought. Voters knew it, too -- they didn't call him Honest Abe for nothing.