Every election season sees pundits bemoan the negativity of modern campaigns. We are often left with the idea that things used to be a lot more gentlemanly.
Negativity is nothing new in American politics. If anything, things are better than they used to be. Consider the 1828 campaign song of President John Quincy Adams, used to encourage his re-election to office.The song’s lyrics warn of the grave dangers that would befall the nation if voters sent Andrew Jackson to the White House.
“Little Know Ye Who’s Coming” (listen to the song here)
swords is comin’,
Pistols, guns and knives is comin’,
If John Quincy not be comin’!
Tears are comin’,
fears are coming,
Plague and pestilence is comin’,
If John Quincy not be comin”