Political debate has become so nasty, and everyone has become so numb to the nastiness, that it’s easy to overlook this reality: Last Thursday may have been the most negative day in modern presidential campaign history.
The two major party nominees for president—not their surrogates, or their TV ads, but the candidates themselves—leveled the most searing of personal attacks on each other. Donald Trump charged that Hillary Clinton “lies and she smears” and said her actions “constitute all of the elements of a major criminal enterprise.” Mrs. Clinton said that Mr. Trump “has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia” and that “his disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.”
|I think I'll take a nap. Wake me when someone shows up.|
And it’s only August.
Aside from what this exchange says about the level of public discourse, it also raises a more practical question: Is this the sort of campaign that’s actually going to inspire people to turn out and vote? The answer will be crucial in determining the outcome—and, like everything else in this campaign, may run counter to conventional wisdom.Read the rest of Gerald Seib's op-ed HERE.
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