By Ryan S. Walters
The 2016 presidential race was shaken up recently with the leak of private audio revealing that Republican nominee Donald Trump said something vulgar 11 years ago as a private citizen in what he thought was a private setting. Trump has since apologized.
The timing of the release of the audio couldn’t have been more suspicious, coming just as more revelations divulged more Clinton corruption. Wikileaks released thousands of emails from Clinton aide John Podesta that included snippets of some of Hillary’s secret Wall Street speeches and the illegal campaign coordination with a Super PAC, while a Gucifer disclosure exposed the existence of a Clinton Foundation “pay for play” folder.
Yet the big political talk centered not on Hillary’s corruption – not even her statement in a speech to a foreign bank that she desired “open trade and open borders” throughout the Western Hemisphere – but on Trump’s verbal gaffe, with major Republican leaders cancelling campaign events, while others are calling on the presidential nominee to leave the race in favor of Mike Pence.
As a historian I can tell you we’ve seen this same song and dance before, in the 1884 presidential campaign that turned out to be one of the nastiest on record. That race, like this one, featured two Northern candidates, including a New Yorker, Governor Grover Cleveland, who faced off against James G. Blaine from Maine, a former Speaker of the House, US Senator, and Secretary of State. [Read more…]