After months of covering and uncovering dirt on the different political candidates, the press is now writing about how dirty campaigns have gotten, but it turns out that mudslinging is a very old American political tradition.
When John Adams ran against Jefferson for the Presidency back in 1800, he accused him of being “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father”. Jefferson retaliated accusing Adams of “having a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” And then they started to get ugly
Things got even uglier in the 1828 campaign, when John Quincy Adams accused opponent, revolutionary war hero Andrew Jackson, of being son of a prostitute and a mulatto, of having carried out massacres of Indians and militiamen and of having married his wife before she got a divorce from her first husband. Jackson, meanwhile, accused JQA of pimping out an American girl to the Tzar of Russia.
So while candidates this season have misrepresented – or outright lied – about their opponents records, we can’t really say they’ve done mudslinging worthy of the founding fathers.