OPINION

Don't turn your back to the fire

Posted 10/27/20

Presidential candidates have long been known to try anything to win an election. The only "e;clean election"e; was the first one, where George Washington spent his entire campaign budget to purchase liquor to serve to his potential voters. (Perhaps the

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OPINION

Don't turn your back to the fire

Posted

Presidential candidates have long been known to try anything to win an election. The only “clean election” was the first one, where George Washington spent his entire campaign budget to purchase liquor to serve to his potential voters. (Perhaps the TIMING of this dispensation, along with the fact that he was running unopposed, had something to do with the overwhelmingly positive vote for George.)

Thomas Jefferson secretly hired a writer to attack John Adams, his opponent, in print. The author wrote that Adams was a “hideous hermaphroditical character with neither the force of a gentleman nor the gentleness of a woman.” Adams retaliated by labeling Jefferson “a mean spirited, low life fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw and sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”

Interesting lingo was also slung in the election year with John Quincy and Andrew Jackson. Jackson called John Quincy a “pimp” and Quincy called Jackson’s wife a “slut” and his mother a “prostitute.”

Lyndon Johnson’s race against Barry Goldwater was historically nasty, with Johnson destroying Goldwater’s character with the assistance of a secret, “after hours” smear team.

During pre-election sparring, candidate Stephen Douglas called Abraham Lincoln “two faced,” to which Lincoln replied, “If I had another face, do you think I would wear this one?”

This year’s candidates have characteristically been slinging campaign mud against each other. Trump continues to bring up the “witch hunt” of the Russian investigation, and Biden continues to hold back a snicker and roll his eyes when he hears it.

Biden, from a working, Irish family, uses the sophisticated term “malarkey” to describe facts he believes Trump is misrepresenting. (This word, often used by those with Irish-American heritage, means “lies” or “exaggerations.”)

A huge non-event has been Trump’s refusal to release his taxes. Had he done so earlier, it may not have had such a direct effect on his campaign. Never in the history of elections has a presidential candidate refused to disclose his real income, or, should I say, non-income.

The most divisive topic is COVID-19, which has killed more than 225,000 Americans. Trump tries to reassure everyone that it is being handled, we have turned the corner and it is going away. Biden, on the other hand, criticizes Trump’s handing of the virus, and has warned that the nation is heading toward a “dark winter.”

The election in 1800 was so heated that Vice President Aaron Burr ended up killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel. The way this year’s election has been going, I can only imagine a repeat of this between our current presidential candidates.

As long as there are at least two political parties, there will be differences of opinion. Judging by the drama associated with elections in earlier years, this year could not be worse than the year Burr killed Hamilton. Or can it?

This quote from Abraham Lincoln sums it all up: “Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

Don’t sit on your blisters. Vote!

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