May 24, 2021
International Man: Every four years, the US engages in an increasingly contentious process of electing its politicians. Republicans and Democrats both engage in mudslinging—each side taking cheap shots at the other.
Is this the nature of all politics and elections now?
Jeff Thomas: Well, that aspect of election campaigns is nothing new. In the US, perhaps the nastiest election was the 1800 election, between President John Adams and contender Thomas Jefferson, who ultimately won. The Democratic Republicans under Jefferson attacked the Federalists under Adams for creating a central government that usurped states’ rights, for imposing excessive taxes, and for passing the Alien and Sedition Acts, repressing the expression of anti-government opinion.
So, the issues themselves are very similar to those in play today, but back then, the mudslinging was a fair bit worse than today. And, like today, the media were just as involved as the political parties.
But it’s important to remember that the US is not the only country out there. It’s only one of about 200 countries, and elections in those countries not only vary widely but are forever evolving. Some countries, like the US, are headed downward politically, whilst others are on an upward trend.