You think things are dirty now, read this article that my dad sent to me on his way to Denver to find out how it used to be.
John Adams lived long enough to see his son become president in 1825, but he died before John Quincy Adams lost the presidency to Andrew Jackson in 1828. Fortunately, that meant he didn’t have to witness what many historians consider the nastiest contest in American history.
The slurs flew back and forth, with John Quincy Adams being labeled a pimp, and Andrew Jackson’s wife getting called a slut.
As the election progressed, editorials in the American newspapers read more like bathroom graffiti than political commentary. One paper reported that “General Jackson’s mother was a common prostitute, brought to this country by the British soldiers! She afterward married a mulatto man, with whom she had several children, of which number General Jackson is one!”