‘Idiots,’ ‘criminals’ and ‘scum’ – nasty politics highest in US since the Civil War

Thomas Zeitzoff in The Conversation:

How bad have things gotten? In my new book, I show that the level of nastiness in U.S. politics has increased dramatically. As an indication of that, I collected historical data from The New York Times on the relative frequency of stories involving Congress that contained keywords associated with nasty politics such as “smear,” “brawl” and “slander.” I found that nasty politics is more prevalent than at any time since the U.S. Civil War.

Particularly following the Jan. 6. insurrection by Trump’s supporters, journalists and scholars have focused on the rise of the politics of menace. In May 2023, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger testified before Congress and said that one of the biggest challenges the U.S. Capitol Police face today “is dealing with the sheer increase in the number of threats against the members of Congress. It’s gone up over 400% over the last six years.”

More here.