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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced

Tom Jefferson...to make the best of him, was nothing but a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.

 - The Jonny-Cake Papers, 1879


Ugly campaigns in America go way back:

Jefferson approached the 1800 presidential election well organized for victory and determined to win. One factor that elevated Jefferson's chances of becoming President was the general mood of the country. During the Adams presidency, public discontent had risen due to the Alien and Sedition Acts, a direct tax in 1798, Federalist military preparations, and the use of federal troops to crush a minor tax rebellion led by John Fries in Pennsylvania. Consequently, Jefferson enjoyed quite a lot of popular support for his opposition to Adams's policies.

The Federalist candidate, the incumbent John Adams, led a split party. Many of his party's members opposed his candidacy because of his refusal to declare war on France—when a naval war did occur, Adams used diplomacy to end it when many Federalists would have preferred the war to continue. Jefferson understood that to win he would have to carry New York, thus his running mate, Aaron Burr of New York, was brought onto the ticket. When the New York legislature turned out its Federalist majority in 1799, prospects looked good for Jefferson.

Given the intense rivalry and conflict involved, it is not surprising that the 1800 election reached a level of personal animosity seldom equaled in American politics. The Federalists attacked the fifty-seven-year-old Jefferson as a godless Jacobin who would unleash the forces of bloody terror upon the land. With Jefferson as President, so warned one newspaper, "Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with blood, and the nation black with crimes." Others attacked Jefferson's deist beliefs as the views of an infidel who "writes aghast the truths of God's words; who makes not even a profession of Christianity; who is without Sabbaths; without the sanctuary, and without so much as a decent external respect for the faith and worship of Christians."

The luckless Adams was ridiculed from two directions: by the Hamiltonians within his own party and by the Jeffersonian-Republicans from the outside. For example, a private letter in which Hamilton depicted Adams as having "great and intrinsic defects in his character" was obtained by Aaron Burr and leaked to the national press. It fueled the Republican attack on Adams as a hypocritical fool and tyrant. His opponents also spread the story that Adams had planned to create an American dynasty by the marriage of one of his sons to a daughter of King George III. According to this unsubstantiated story, only the intervention of George Washington, dressed in his Revolutionary military uniform, and the threat by Washington to use his sword against his former vice president had stopped Adams's scheme.

What I would give for Hillary in the next debate to call out Donald's "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

ntodd

October 15, 2016 | Permalink

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