Cracked magazine has a great little article covering five historical instances of negative campaigning, all of them surprisingly similar to aspersions cast in the current political climate.
President Adams’ team sent out pamphlets saying if Jefferson was elected he would destroy Christianity, and that, “prostitutes…will preside in the sanctuaries now devoted to the worship of the Most High.”
When the threat of an all-hooker church wasn’t effective enough to destroy Jefferson’s career, Adams’ Federalists stepped up their game, explaining that Jefferson’s America would involve the “teaching of murder robbery, rape, adultery and incest”. Thomas Jefferson wants “murder robbery” taught in our elementary schools, people!
And that’s just the first one. It gets better. Or worse.
As always, history soothes my jangled nerves. Knowing that we aren’t particularly exceptional is a relief, frankly.