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Similarities Between Lincoln and Trump
08-13-2018, 07:04 PM (This post was last modified: 08-13-2018 07:07 PM by L Verge.)
Post: #20
RE: Similarities Between Lincoln and Trump
As a sidebar to our discussions on the role of the press in politics (if that's what we're doing), I would like to comment on something that is brought out in the book that I am currently reading. The book is entitled One Nation Under Sex and is the work of co-authors Larry Flynt (remember Hustler magazine?) and the respected Dr. David Eisenbach, who teaches American political history at Columbia University.

And no, I am not a dirty old lady, and the book is not some filthy rag. It is very well-written, loads of cited sources, extesive bibliography, etc. The authors have tastefully (with a touch of humor) discussed how the private affairs of our leaders (and wives) have influenced American history -- from Ben Franklin (now there was a dirty old man!) to Bill Clinton.

However, my reason for posting about this here is that it shows a period when our reporters and journalists turned away from carrying all the dirt about politicians and their scandals and decided that it was best to be discreet for the sake of our country. While Cleveland's 1884 run was a huge smear campaign, thanks to his admission of having fathered a child by Maria Halpern - even though the father could have been Cleveland's law partner, Oscar Folsom. (Maria didn't know herself who the father was, so she named the child Oscar Folsom Cleveland.) Grover Cleveland saved his campaign by being honest and admitting to his scandal.

A few decades later, however, the press and the Democrats toned down their interest in illicit affairs when Woodrow Wilson proved that he was no prudish university professor, but Peck's Bad Boy instead. Google the name Mary Allen Hudbert Peck. And Mrs. Peck was just the lead-in to a more salacious affair with Edith Bolling Galt after the death of Wilson's wife. We all know Wilson married this mistress -- and she ruled the roost in the halls of government after his stroke.

At the turn-of-the-century, it appears that the news corps decided to take a different approach to protecting the private lives of politicians. Instead of being openly affiliated with certain political parties, the news people decided to be more independent and objective, and they frowned upon exposing dirty little secrets. In the 1920s, the American Society of Newspaper Editors published such pronouncements as, "...a newspaper should not invade private rights or feelings without sure warrant of public right as distinguished from public curiosity." We have mentioned Harding and Carrie Phillips and Nan Britton and illegitimate child previously on another thread here, but the new attitude of the press as well as the Democrats' failure to exploit Harding's sexual conquests benefited Harding enough to make him President.

Now, after all this meandering down the path, the point of my posting is to suggest that maybe it's time for news media of all kinds, as well as the American public, to go back to paying more attention to issues and less to scandals. Scandals run their course and are forgotten by most over time. John F. Kennedy's peccadilloes were covered up or forgotten after his death, and lord knows, former President Clinton's must have been forgotten because he became a shining star during the last campaign...

BTW: Lincoln takes a beating by innuendo in the book, and Buchanan takes a downright thrashing.
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RE: Similarities Between Lincoln and Trump - L Verge - 08-13-2018 07:04 PM

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