We’ve never seen a campaign season like this. Every four years, pundits proclaim with hyperbole that the election is the worst and everyone is so negative. However, the 2016 election has brought everyone together around the idea that this election was a mess.
“There has never been one like this,” veteran newsman, Dan Rather, told CNN on Monday. “We have never in the history of the country, not just in my lifetime, never had an election campaign like this.”
Nevermind the high negatives both candidates share. Rather calls this campaign one in which “the rules of civility — while they have been broken many times in the past never with the consistency — this has been sort of a dumpster fire of an election campaign in which both sides and I’m not giving false equivalency, have racism, chauvinism, name it, it’s been so down and dirty.”
While it’s easy to point a finger at both candidates and proclaim “a plague on both of your houses,” the degree of racism and chauvinism has been largely one-sided. “We had tough races before but never at a level this low,” Rather continued. “We have never sunk this low.”
Former Barack Obama campaigner David Axelrod agreed that the election has been different for a variety of different reasons, but namely that the media has highlighted negative things Trump has said.
“The way campaigns are covered, Twitter, all of this has sort of escalated,” Axelrod explained. “I think we have had more acrimonious races. They haven’t been covered. They weren’t covered with the immediacy that this campaign has been covered in. That added and amplified the negativism.”
Both Rather and Axelrod hope that the days that follow will bring a divided country together around a single country instead of the battles we’ve seen over the last year.
Check out the full conversation below: