What strikes me is that every four years we go through a loss of memory as to how traditionally American it is to hurl personal insults and spin preposterous claims to your political opponent. This is not new, and politics have not really hit a new low with the likes of Donald Trump. Admittedly, Trump has played this game better and used the media by giving them a train wreck to film that have given him more time than any other opponent of his in front of cameras. Now that his opponents are rolling up their sleeves, we are watching American politics in the most traditional sense take place!
The media has schooled us to falsely believe that we as the public are above this. All the while we should question why we give high ratings to shows such as The Bachelor. We love a good, dirty fight. The media, in fact, salivates at the rest of the year with higher ad revenues while we do not question our own motives and emotions regarding the landscape. On the Democratic side you have something similar going on. However, it is not as exciting. You think we are being dirty yet? There have been nothing like 1800s. John Adams was insulted for his “rotund” and bald toothless appearance. That was just the beginning. There was then the election in our history in 1828 when a presidential candidate was accused of being a cannibal. Yes, birther issues were also an issue with things you would never be able to repeat in PG13.
Every four years we should not be surprised of the candidates and their behavior. Why? Because, both the tradition of our American system and the voyeuristic, shallow way we judge people are embedded in us. The first is a bit tricky to confront as our American tradition, whether we like it or not, is married to the brutal battle for the highest office. The second issue, however, we need to take at least a moment of personal reflection and confess our part in. Why do we allow ourselves to be swayed more by emotion than wisdom? You want to know why critical thinking is never covered on CNN, FOX, MSNBC and the rest? We are not interested in the real truth. And, our so-called public servants in the media make more money selling fear as a result.
A link to a similar article written in response to the 2012 election.
A Brief History of Campaign Mudslinging From 1796 to Today.