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Mar. 07 2012

Hurling Invective…

By Mark Malinowski | Posted in Host Blogs | No Comments

Well, the primaries are in full swing, and the more intense things get, the more we hear the political invective hurled about.  I’ve heard a lot of people say how nasty politicians are, and, of course, whenever that comes up, someone says something like, “It’s not like it used to be.” (See previous blog about “The Good Old Days)

Well, it’s a good thing that it’s not like it used to be.  I would recommend a look at William Safire’s Political Dictionary.  In the section on invective, political, he talks about John Randolph, who was a Representative from Virginia  from 1799 – 1829.  Safire considers him the father of political invective in America.  Of course, political invective can be traced back so much farther–the ancient Greeks and the Romans, most notably.  Back to John Randolph, who, when discussing one Edward Livingstone, who later became Secretary of  State, described him as brilliant and corrupt, saying, “He’s like a rotten mackerel in the moonlight: he shines and stinks.”  Well, if you want to dish it out, you better take it.  Tristram Burgess of Rhode Island, heard a rumor that Randolph was impotent, and felt compelled to say, “I rejoice that the father of lies can never become the father of liars.”  Ouch.

So, when we hear our politicos  tossing the nasties back and forth, remember, it’s all part of a long heritage in politics.

Mark Malinowski

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Mark is WBJC's morning host. His full bio can be read here.

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