I still hear that from time to time and it's utter nonsense. To take one of the more obvious, plenty of people disliked FDR during his terms of office and plenty of newspaper editors and columnists criticized his Administration's polices, even during WW II. Presidents Truman and Eisenhower had their critics, and so on and so forth--
So this business of claiming that after the election, the public and the Press all just lined up and went along is pure bunkum. Americans are not now and have never been the falling-into-line type, as even a cursory examination of the early Presidencies demonstrates.
There was, however, one difference between those "good old days" and recent history: Presidents and their Administrations were generally questioned and criticized over matters of some substance. Even if it was gossipy or salacious -- Warren G. Harding's mistress, for example -- it was something big. Any more, Presidents are criticized for petty, stupid things at least as often as matters of policy: Mr. Obama's "Mom jeans," Mr. Trump's unlikely hair color and style.
Our parents, grandparents and so on might not have got behind Presidents they disliked, but they didn't question what tie the Chief Executive wore to state dinners or snicker over mishaps like his staff not making hotel reservations on overseas trips. I don't remember hearing much of that until President Ford fell down the stairs from Air Force One, and it was slow to ramp up afterward. I'd like to tell you we're at Peak Derp, but we probably aren't.
Maybe venting over the petty stuff is better than ignoring it; maybe it's a safety valve. But I think it's more like a rash, itchy and constant.
Don't pick at it. You'll only make it worse.
3 months ago