As campaigns enter final stretch, voters in key region lament negativity. (Wisocnsin State Journal, 11/4/2018)
The First Ugly Election: America, 1800. (JSTOR Daily, 7/4/2016)
The election pitted John Adams, Washington’s successor and the standing president, against his own vice president Thomas Jefferson, whose Democratic-Republicans championed the cause of small farmers and the working man. The Founding Fathers were known as producers of lofty tracts about political theory. Yet Adams and Jefferson, historian Edward J. Larson notes, “could write like angels and scheme like demons.” Newspapers were the medium of the day. Political attacks were common. Both candidates suffered personal attacks; Adams, for his perceived lack of masculine virtues, Jefferson for rumors that he had fathered children with one of his slaves and, enamored with French revolutionary ideas, had plans to install a Bonaparte-like dictatorship in America. His heterodox Christianity also raised charges of atheism.