Political Campaigns Used to Be Much, Much Worse

Reason Mag Creates Attack Ads from 1800

By Published on .

Every year pundits, academics and a host of other well-meaning people whine and moan about negative advertising reaching new lows. It seems that every year we remind people that there never WAS a civil election in this country and we've actually seen worse--from mud-slinging to physical beat downs. My example is always 1800. Thomas Jefferson's opponents at The Connecticut Courant said that if he were elected, "Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will all be openly taught and practiced." Jefferson's side accused John Adams of being of a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

Reason magazine has taken those words -- and set them to actual spots. GENIUS!

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