Respectful Insolence

Think this election is bad?

Think this election is bad? Think it’s really negative? Think it’s really vicious and nasty?

Think again.

Negative campaigning and vicious attacks by candidates on each other have been with us since at least the election of 1800. If anything, these days elections are probably tamer. The difference is the media. Between robocalls, television, radio, the Internet, the blogosphere, and all the outlets that attacks can find, our campaigns just seem nastier.

Comments

  1. #1 Ktesibios
    October 25, 2008

    Interesting article. It demonstrates one great advantage that the electorate of the early 19th century had over we of the present day: political pamphlets didn’t have comments sections.

  2. #2 IBY
    October 25, 2008

    Yeah, and the last entry was especially sad. It took a freaking thunderstorm for a decent guy to win. People just can’t help it, but buy into those emotional crap, can’t they?

  3. #3 Beowulff
    October 25, 2008

    Ah, but what election has all five of these elements?

    But seriously, interesting link, thanks.

  4. #4 Blake Stacey
    October 25, 2008

    Between robocalls, television, radio, the Internet, the blogosphere, and all the outlets that attacks can find, our campaigns just seem nastier.

    If we have more outlets for vicious attacks, and if all the idiocies combine to form a perfect storm of general outright stupidity, doesn’t that make modern campaigns nastier?

    (Nastiness being a function of what one can see, after all.)

  5. #5 Onkel Bob
    October 25, 2008

    At least during that election, the American people could not lose. With this one, regardless who wins, we lose.

    I’m a firm subscriber to the joke:
    Obama, Biden, McCain & Palin are in a boat in the middle of a large lake. A storm capsizes the boat, who was saved?

    A: The American electorate.

  6. #6 SLC
    October 25, 2008

    The article on the link neglects the election of 1884 in which it was alleged that Democrat Grover Cleveland had fathered a child out of wedlock. The opposition liked to recite the following ditty: Mz, ma, where’s my pa, gone to White House, ha, ha.

  7. #7 Stupid Burns
    October 25, 2008

    The hubbie just came back from the mall and said he saw a man, carrying a small child, with a “F**k Palin” t-shirt on. A busy Saturday at the mall with kids all around. Nice. No matter who you’re voting for. Don’t think they had that in 1800.

  8. #8 Graculus
    October 25, 2008

    It demonstrates one great advantage that the electorate of the early 19th century had over we of the present day:

    I agree with J K Galbraith on this one. The modern dearth of rotten vegetables and horse poo in the street has severly limited the public’s participation in the political discourse.

  9. #9 llewelly
    October 26, 2008

    The modern dearth of rotten vegetables and horse poo in the street has severly limited the public’s participation in the political discourse.

    blogs have replaced rotten vegetables and horse poo.

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