Yes! The Good Old Days, when letting your temper get the best of you made you a Solid Citizen! These days it’s all about civility, isn’t it? Bummer.
No, not really! It’s only that we’ve polished things down so that vicious attacks based on falsehoods are now excused with “that’s politics!” That way the only ones who suffer are the kind who don’t contribute money to this or that political party. What is it about tithing that these people don’t understand?
In the Good Old Day — otherwise known as the Era of White (Protestant) Male Privilege — our most honored statesmen would occasionally beat on each other to prove a point. Did it hurt their political careers? Of course not!
None of the presidential beatings quite reach the gore and excitement of the famous public caning of Senator Charles Sumner, but the stories are still interesting. For you Republicans who need a reason to flex: a majority of the stories involve Republicans beating up on Democrats! For you Democrats who need vindication: a majority of the stories involve Republicans beating up on Democrats!
We’re not even counting all the times Gerald Ford socked somebody on the football field.
Read about some of the more violent actions of our so-called Founders in our feature, Common Bonds: Presidents Who Slugged Someone.
(The image of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in boxing outfits, as darling as it is, is a faked kind of “photo illustration” that we stole off this thing called the internet.)