Is Hostility in Politics Worse than Ever?
Tired of all the hostility between Repubs and Demos as we approach the election?
Food for thought from The Christian Science Monitor:
"The age of statesmen is gone.... God save the Republic ... from the buffoon and gawk ... we have for President."
That was the New York World in 1864, commenting on the renomination of Abraham Lincoln.
As David and Johnny Johnson note in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House," our presidential contests have always been marked by scurrilous charges, innuendo, and outright lies.
Andrew Jackson was described by his opponents as a drunkard, bigamist, adulterer, gambler, and murderer. Abraham Lincoln likewise was viewed as an "awful woeful ass," a "dictator," a "coarse vulgar joker," and a "grotesque baboon." To Republicans in 1884, Grover Cleveland was a "lecherous beast," an "obese nincompoop," and a "drunken sot." But through all the calumnies and distortions, we have selected decent, if not always excellent, presidents, whose virtues were maximized and vices minimized by mutually vigilant, separated powers of government.