For those of you despairing about the nasty tenor of elections today, the ugly partisanship of politics, the polarity of the press: Be happy you weren't around in the 19th century.
The fight between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams got so ugly that Abigail Adams despaired it could have "ruined and corrupted the minds and morals of the best people in the world." Consider these highlights of 19th-century bare-knuckle politics while watching the next debate.
Jefferson v. Adams, 1800: Attack of the Personal Attacks! Remember those founding fathers, so brilliant, so inspirational? They were also mean. Jefferson was accused of being pro-French and running a "Congo harem" out of Monticello. Adams was accused of conspiring to marry his daughter off to the British king's family, in order to establish a royal bloodline.