Bare-knuckle political debates didn’t start in 2012

“At a ‘Town Meeting’ in Charlotte, North Carolina, broadcast by ABC radio, [Progressive Party vice presidential candidate Glen] Taylor debated [critic] Dwight Macdonald and syndicated columnist Dorothy Thompson. Macdonald accused [Henry] Wallace and Taylor of appeasement; Thompson was less kind: ‘The Communist Party — let’s tell the truth — initiated the movement for Wallace’….

“[Thompson’s] stinging accusations over national radio (with Taylor present) show just how unfettered campaign rhetoric could be in 1948.”

— From “The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election” by Zachary Karabell (2001)


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