On February 10th, 1796, Vice President John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, lamenting the state of discourse in the country. The election was nearing—and becoming heated. Newspapers screamed, factions warred, and John Adams was dismayed with what he called “the wicked Game.”
Americans in 2020 can relate. They still have to endure weeks of shouting, outrage, and the worst sort of political rancor as the country once again chooses its president.
But it’s almost always been this way. And to prove it, American Elections: Wicked Game will review the entire history of presidential elections, from the unanimous and inevitable election of George Washington in 1789 to Donald Trump’s surprise electoral victory in 2016.
From the host of the American History Tellers and American Scandal, this new podcast will explore all 58 presidential elections to discover that there never never was a “good ol’ days,” and that presidential politics has always been played dirty.
In the 1796 election, two political forces of nature collide: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. As the supporters of Adams and Jefferson vie for their candidate, the machinery of America’s nascent political parties is unleashed in the first contested election in American history.
Created, hosted and executive produced by Lindsay Graham for Airship. Sound design by Derek Behrens. Co-Executive produced by Steven Walters in association with Ritual Productions. Written and researched by Steven Walters. Fact checking by Gregory Jackson and Cielle Salazar from the podcast History That Doesn’t Suck. Music by Lindsay Graham.
If you like this show, please support it! Become a patron at Patreon.com/wickedgamepodcast. Find out more at www.wickedgamepodcast.com.