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In president campaigns,

not as bad as it seems

I'd like to share some thoughts regarding the guest column, "Unruly," in the Oct. 6 edition of NWA Democrat-Gazette.

The idea of vicious, mudslinging election campaigns is nothing new to our republic. We've been going down that road since the early days of the Founders.

In 1800, a newspaper editor who supported Thomas Jefferson said that John Adams "had the hideous hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman." Adams' supporters predicted Jefferson's election would bring "murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest being openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with blood and the nation black with crimes."

And Martha Washington wasn't exactly a fan of Thomas Jefferson. A guest at Mount Vernon in 1802 wrote that "she spoke of the election of Mr. Jefferson, whom she considered as one of the most detestable of mankind, as the greatest misfortune our country had ever experienced."

In 1804, Aaron Burr, then vice president, killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. At least we haven't had many armed duels recently.

In the 1884 presidential campaign, accusations of racial interbreeding (then believed to be profoundly immoral) were made against President Andrew Jackson. Opposition supporters said his mother was a prostitute and his father was a "mulatto."

While New York governor, Grover Cleveland was discovered to be paying for a child he reportedly had with a woman to whom he wasn't married. His opponents came up with: "Ma, ma, where's my pa?" To which Cleveland's supporters responded: "Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha." and "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, the continental liar from the state of Maine."

These are only a few examples. So yes, our elections have certainly been unruly (or worse) in the past, and clearly deserve that term today. What's different today is the extreme level of partisanship. In the past, after all the mudslinging and name calling, and after the elections have resolved who will be serving in the government, both sides were usually able to compromise and make concessions, so a deal could eventually be struck. Today, if you talk about concessions and compromise, you're considered a traitor. It's that extreme partisanship, in and out of government, that's destroying the country. Now: How do we fix it? Or should we?

Mark Dague

Bentonville

Outraged about NBA?

What about president?

Republicans are upset with the NBA because they did not object strongly enough to China's reaction to a general manager's tweet about supporting free speech in Hong Kong, but Trump is asking this communist country to investigate the Bidens (I watched the video again and he was not joking). The head of the Federal Election Commission has said twice that this is illegal and Trump's own FBI director said in June that its illegal.

Where is the Republican outrage for a out-of-control president saying, in public no less, that foreign countries should investigate and interfere with our elections, especially a communist country he congratulated on the anniversary of their communist takeover in 1949?

The whistleblowers complaint was spot on and we know this because Trump released the transcript of the call and it shows the president bribing [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky by asking for a favor, which was investigating the Bidens, and at the same time holding up the $391 million in aid to that country. Zelensky knew and we know that the aid was contingent on him getting dirt on the Bidens. The money was held up for several months until Sept. 11, only when Congress started looking into the matter.

So we have two open attempts by our president to get help from foreign governments to help him in his 2020 re-election, which again is illegal. When are Republicans going to put America first and not this leader of their party? He is not being attacked personally, but because of his actions, which are despicable.

Lee Lewis

Centerton

Commentary on 10/10/2019

Print Headline: NWA Letters to the Editor

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