A Nineteenth Century Donald Trump

Historian Joanne Freeman has a great op-ed in the New York Times today about early 19th century political grandstanding.

“…the swaggering threat, the mocking taunt, the over-the-top insult” – This sounds like Donald Trump, but she’s actually describing Congressman Henry A. Wise – who benefited from his outrageousness and served six terms from 1833 and 1844. Six!

“Then as now, raising hackles before the eyes of the press was a play for power; politicians who displayed their fighting-man spunk were strutting their suitability as leaders,” writes Freeman. So if you think election politics are worse than ever…take heart. It’s an American tradition.


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