founding fathers

May 312014

jacksomAfter 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.