Guest Author - Rebecca Graf
Iíve said it myself. The politics of today are getting out of hand. They are reaching an all-time low. Others have said it. The truth is that it is not that low yet. The abyss of the politics of today is childís play in comparison to the politics found in the annals of history.
What is wrong with politics today? Letís start there. We have corrupt politicians, mudslinging, and scandal. Well, that is nothing new. Shoot, the politicians of today are just imitators of ones that did it much better.
Is there corruption in Washington today? Of course. We hear about it all the time. There was Watergate, Iran-Contra, and so many more. Many donít come to light for years. There are many political agendas that people consider corruption that are more like angles they donít like. People might not like Obamacare, but it is not an example of corruptionÖyet. Not liking something does not make it corrupt. True corruption is the breaking of the law and established rules. Sort of joking, we could say anything the government does is corruption. The fact is that this is not new. Corruption has been around since the beginning of this great nation.
Under George Washington, one senator was found aiding the British to come through the back door of this new country. Shall we even mention Aaron Burr and his failed attempt to split the country and promote himself as a ruler? Zachery Taylor had his Secretary of War, Crawford, steal almost $200k from the government (Can you imagine how much that is in todayís dollars?). Bribery has been going on throughout the ages with a few being discovered and resigning from office. Under Theodore Roosevelt, a senator was convicted for the Oregon land fraud scandal. There hasnít been an administration that has been free of corruption.
The conclusion is that the corruption of today is nothing new and is not any worse than the corruption of the previous administrations.
The elections today are getting worse and worse. Weíve never seen candidates act like this before, or have we?
Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were some of the earliest politicians in America to embrace mudslinging. Up until then, most candidates kept the mudslinging between friends with intimate letters denouncing each other. Hamilton made it public though he tried to keep up appearances. He sent a series of letters to the Gazette where he accused Jefferson of having an affair with one of his slaves. This was nothing to ignore and would plague Jefferson throughout his life and beyond. This is still a hot topic today. Hamilton did all this under the name of Phocion and did everything he could to bring Jefferson down. Just as many in the opposition feel about a president today, Hamilton believed that Jefferson, one of the nationís revered founding fathers, would destroy the nation.
Andrew Jackson found mud slung at him concerning his marriage. His wifeís name was smeared throughout the papers accusing her of having two husbands. What the newspapers didnít reveal was the fact she had fled from an abusive husband. When she married Jackson, she thought she was free. It was only later she discovered that she was not. They quickly remedied the situation and got remarried. Years later, Jacksonís opponents would use that to show his lack of ethics.
Most mudslinging is based on distorted facts done in effort to discredit the opposition and get the publicís attention off their own lack of ethics and morals.
Politics is not worse today than it was in the early days of the country. It has always been mean and dirty. Each side has always tried to destroy the other side without really caring how it affects the nation as a whole. Most presidents have been called the anti-Christ and the worst thing the nation could ever face. Hundreds of years later those same presidents have either been forgotten or declared great Americans. History has a way of softening politics.