As this election process seems to go on and on while
innuedoes and mini-scandals are heard almost daily we
wondered how long this form of campaign has been used.
We were Surprised to find it goes all the way back to
George Washington refused to run for a 3rd term so
Vice President John Adams became the Federalist
candidate against Republican Thomas Jefferson. And
that is when it all began.
Jeffereson maligned the economic and foreign policies
of the current administration. Adams and his supporters
alleged lack of manliness and Christian values in Jefferson.
There was no comparisons of policy, instead it was all
tales of the lack of morality.
Thus began the name calling and rhetoric that we
know as the elections. Government was spoken of in
terms of parent, father, or friend of the people.
Newspapers of the day printed statements like: “Woe
betide America if her liberties depended upon the
depth of his political knowledge, the strength of his
virtue, or the vigour of his mind.”
Opinions were varied and vocal. “Better to opt for
the the security of the resplendent abilities,
faithful services, inflexible patriotism, and
undeviating firmness of John Adams.
And if you haven’t noticed the same formula is still
used today. We never hear much about policies or skill
but instead hear how the other candidates are so much
worse. Truth doesn’t matter in these allegations as
politicians know enough people will believe the bull
to divide the voters.
I’d like to say things have gotten better over the
years but I cannot.
Comments are always welcome.