Many students at Kansas Wesleyan University are – for the first time watching, learning and taking part in the U.S. elections process as our nation nears election day November 8th.
KWU History Professor, Dr. Anita Specht joined in on the KSAL Morning News Thursday with a look at not only the contentious 2016 presidential campaign, but also some notable mud slinging from the past.
“I like to go back to the 1800’s,” she said.
“There were a lot of elections that were really, really mean.”
Dr. Specht added that the election of 1800 that pitted Thomas Jefferson against John Adams provided plenty of mud in the young Republic.
“This is where it was first revealed that Thomas Jefferson was having relations with his slave, Sally Hemings. This was in the newspapers at the time,” she said.
According to Specht, Jefferson’s team countered that Adams was an aristocrat who could not be trusted, “They said he was probably colluding with England and maybe was going to sell out the United States.”
Although the 2016 election cycle has been anything but quiet, Dr Specht says some students are staying mum about the candidates.
“As one of my students was saying in class discussion yesterday, he said, “You know I don’t want to tell my peers how I’m voting because then they are going to look at me in one way and I’ll alienate people who are my friends,”” she said.
“So I think for young people it’s kind of tricky.”