The U.S. presidential election is again serving as a symptom and a symbol of a troubled society. Whatever the outcome, history suggests anything but a quick resolution to deeply rooted problems.
Political conventions used to pick presidential nominees in private. Now the public picks the nominee and then the party has a big party at the convention, writes a scholar of US elections.
For more than two centuries, one particular epithet has resonated through US politics – and even helped inspire the unofficial mascot of a major political party.
When the electoral process was helped along by practices that either were or appeared to be underhanded, the resulting wounds took a long time to heal – and may not ever have healed.