Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Election. . .

A few impressions, comments, surprises, etc., etc., etc., regarding the current campaign for President (I'm seriously wondering who in their right mind would want this job---hmmmm, may be an important insight buried in there somewhere):

Think this campaign season has turned negative and bitter (no pun intended, Senator Obama!)? You would have loved the election of 1800 that set Thomas Jefferson against the incumbent John Adams. The Federalists attacked Jefferson unmercifully, branding him a Jacobin and an atheist. His election, critics warned, would bring "dwellings in flames, hoary hairs bathed in blood, female chastity violated. . .children writhing on the pike and halberd" (George Brown Tindall, America: A Narrative History, page 324). Jefferson won.

Monday, April 21, 2008 will go down as a very different day in the life and history of Selma, Alabama. Republican Presidential nominee, Senator John McCain became the very first Republican candidate for the nation's highest office to visit the city ever. McCain made a speech at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement in the South. Surprises everywhere. I applaud McCain for his trip to Selma. Nice move.

Even worse than the Jefferson-Adams struggle of 1800, just read some of the campaign rhetoric during the days of Andrew Jackson! Old Hickory had his detractors for sure. I remember doing research while in graduate school at Tulane University that set me reading newspapers from the 1820s and 1830s. The editorial comments made the current news of the political day sound like a Sunday School picnic. Face it: Americans have always fought dirty when it come to politics!

Anyone have other rough and tumble political campaign stories to share?


Anonymous said...

Yes, U.S. politics has always been a messy business. Reminds me of Churchill's line (paraphrasing): Democracy is the worst form of government devised by man, except for all the others.

Stacy Peters said...

First of all, posting at 4:35 AM surely can't be healthy. That's either too early or too late, depending on your perspective. Yes, politics is terribly cruel. Perhaps it's because the voters respond to hyperbole.