At the level of venom spewed in this campaign. Honestly, I do not remember ever witnessing a campaign for anything that wasn't venomous. This didn't just start this year or even this century. Nasty campaigning has been around as long as politics and elections have been around.
I was very surprised by this article:"Clinton's women supporters fear her bid has unleashed a sexist backlash". Hillary is a woman so she will be attacked because she is a woman, as well as anything else anyone can think of. That is the nature of the political beast. If she wants to play with the boys then she will have to take it like the boys take it. Her womanhood is as much a target as her anything in her life, her past, her present and speculation on her future. She shouldn't get spared by playing the girl card anymore than anyone else should be spared by playing their "card". You can't be POTUS and have thin skin.
Valerie Benjamin, a human-resources manager for a consulting firm here, was driving to work recently in her red minivan with a Hillary bumper sticker when a man pulled up alongside and rolled down his window. "You can be for Hillary all you want," he shouted, "but there is no way that thing is going to become president." "I couldn't believe this guy was shouting at me in my car," says Ms. Benjamin. "I am continuously surprised by the level of venom."
According to historian and author of Anything for a Vote: Dirty Tricks, Cheap Shots, and October Surprises, Joseph Cummings; smears, attacks, and misdirections have typified U.S. elections since George Washington’s win in 1789. After much research he concludes that campaigns are no dirtier now than they were in the past.
In terms of trends, a rough rule of thumb is that incumbent parties tend to play the most dirty tricks, perhaps because they have the ways and means to do so. It’s also true that parties with the strongest ideologies — be they Democratic or Republican — fight dirtier, possibly because they are not only pushing a candidate, but an entire way of life.
Both parties at different times in American history have been guilty of mind-boggling attempts to influence elections. In the 1880s, one of the worst decades in terms of dirty tricks, Republicans sent bagmen to Indiana — then a pivotal state — with hundreds of thousands of dollars in two dollar bills (dubbed “Soapy Sams” for their ability to grease palms) in order to purchase votes. The 1960s was the era of Democratic dirty tricks — in 1964, Lyndon Johnson oversaw one of the most corrupt elections ever, against Barry Goldwater.
In 1840, the American Whig politician Thomas Elder had a eureka moment when he wrote to a friend: “Passion and prejudice properly aroused and directed do about as well as principle and reason in any party contest.”
I think this has been the guiding dictum of presidential politics all throughout our history.
As I said, anyone surprised by the venom displayed in this campaign has a very short memory and no knowledge or real understanding of politics and history.