Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Sticks and stones...................
In the election that pitted Thomas Jefferson against John Adams, the somewhat more restricted and refined electorate had its choice between the president of the American Philosophical Society and the president of the American Academy of Arts and Science. "What could possibly have been more civilized and agreeable?" breathes the incurable nostalgic. Yet it's worth looking up what was said, especially about Jefferson, in those days: he was called adulterer, whoremaster, atheist, even deserter in the face of the enemy. There's no doubt that the emergence of parties or "factions" after the retirement of George Washington gave voters a set of clear and often stark choices - and a good thing that was too.
-Christopher Hitchens, as excerpted from Bring On The Mud