President Trump’s use of social media is boorish, intemperate and frequently vulgar. He claims this is the style of a “MODERN PRESIDENT.” By which he would seem to be claiming all the probity of reality television.
Trump would be right about the television, but as to the rhetoric – not so much.
Alexander Hamilton on Thomas Jefferson:
“He is not scrupulous about the means of success, nor very mindful of truth, and… he is a contemptible hypocrite.”
John Adams on Alexander Hamilton:
“The bastard brat of a Scotch pedlar.”
Thomas Paine on George Washington:
“… and to you, sir, treacherous in private friendship … and a hypocrite in public life, the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor, whether you have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any.”
The campaign of 1800 was over the top even for Trump:
Thomas 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.”
John Adams’ men called Vice President Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”
Of course, most of those insults came from surrogates, not from the candidates or incumbents themselves. The other major difference from the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania is that the Founders were literate.
If, like me, you think Trump’s tweets degrade his office and obfuscate his successes, delete your Twitter account and don’t watch Morning Schmo. Or, try to look at his puerile lack of impulse control as rebellion against the arrogant rule of distant urban elites. Or, get hysterical, smash some windows and shoot a few GOP Congressmen. That seems to be Democrat strategy…
For balance, here’s a literate and thoughtful look at today’s significance: President Coolidge’s remarks on the sesquicentennial celebration of Independence day.