To everything there is a season

Published 2:55 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2016

As someone wise once said, “Nothing changes, except the names.” In other words — and despite changes in technology — everything happening now has happened before, just the players are different.

While this may sound fatalistic, it explains much of what is going on around us, especially in the world of politics. As the U.S. Vice Presidential Debate looms before us in Farmville, we can’t help thinking about the overall campaign and how much more negative it seems than any other in our lifetime.

For, perhaps, the dirtiest presidential campaign, we must go back to 1828. The nominees were Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams. Much mudslinging was had between the two, Adams having squeaked by through a congressional election to the presidency four years earlier. The low point: Adams accusing Jackson’s wife of bigamy. He also called Jackson “a slave-trading, gambling, brawling murderer.”

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Abraham Lincoln, apparently, wasn’t beneath such things, actually having hand-bills printed claiming opponent Stephen Douglas — who was stumping across the country — had left D.C. to “go home to his mother … who is very anxious about him …. Answers to the name Little Giant.” (Douglas was only 5 feet 4 inches tall.)

In both cases, opponents gave as good as they got — or perhaps “worst” as they got.

As we ready ourselves for next week’s debate and for the rest of the national campaign, we remind both readers and candidates of this: “To everything there is a season.” We’re hoping it changes for the “good” instead of “worst.”