Many have complained at the tone of today's political debates and have claimed that America has somehow sunk to its worst point in the history of election cycles.
Consider the rhetorical ad hominem attacks launched between two of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams:
Jefferson's camp accused President Adams of having a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."
In return, Adams' men called Vice President Jefferson "a mean-spirited, low-life fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father."
As the slurs piled on, Adams was labeled a fool, a hypocrite, a criminal, and a tyrant, while Jefferson was branded a weakling, an atheist, a libertine, and a coward. *
So while we may not be in the best of times, in terms of negative rhetoric, certainly we aren't in the worst of times either.
Eventually, Adams and Jefferson completely mended their differences and were lifelong close friends and allies.
* Source: CNN