In the current political climate of tea parties and voter polarization, the phrase “political civility” seems like an oxymoron. It seems like everything has gotten downright nasty, with each group demonizing the other, and the word “compromise” taking on negative connotations. Ah, for the good old days, when everyone believed in God, motherhood, and apple pie.
…or was it so great?
History is replete with examples of political rivalries that make the current climate look tame in comparison. There is the infamous pistol duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, and the caning of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner by South Carolina Senator Preston Brooks in 1856.