There must be decency and respect and veneration introduced for persons of authority of every rank or we are undone.
Thankfully, our nation's history runs rife with delectable cheap-shot moments:
- Thomas Jefferson called his opponent John Adams “a hideous hermaphroditical character."
- Andrew Jackson's opponent said Jackson was “a gambler, a cock fighter, a slave trader and the husband of a really fat wife.”
- Martin Van Buren was accused by his opponent of secretly dressing in women’s undergarments and strutting in front of expensive mirrors.
- Zachary Taylor called his opponent a "pot-bellied, mutton-headed cucumber."
- Abraham Lincoln's opponent called him a "horrid-looking wretch, sooty and scoundrelly in aspect," and the "leanest, lankest, most ungainly mass of legs and arms and hatchet face ever strung on a single frame."
- Rutherford B. Hayes' opponent claimed Hayes had shot his own mother in a fit of rage.
- Grover Cleveland's opponent insisted Cleveland had fathered an illegitimate child while lawyering in Buffalo.
- Woodrow Wilson's opponent accused him of having an extramarital affair with an attractive widow, Edith Galt, while his wife lay on her deathbed. Wilson wasn't helped any by a typo in The Washington Post. The paper reported the couple was seen attending a play, during which "the President spent most of his time entertaining Mrs. Galt." "Entertaining" was spelled "entering."
- Herbert Hoover insisted his opponent, a Catholic from New York, had commissioned a secret, 3,500 mile-long tunnel connecting New York City and the Vatican. The tunnel would allow the Pope to control the US government's policies, were Hoover to lose the election.
- Lyndon Johnson used a TV ad, “Peace, Little Girl,” to portray his opponent as a trigger-happy, hydrogen bomb-loving lunatic.