Ma! Ma! Where’s My Pa!

In case you’re tempted to believe by this week’s events that political discourse in this country has always been in a perpetual downward spiral, it’s worth revisiting the presidential election of 1884.

Wikipedia’s article on this election perpetuates the apparently incorrect version of the story: "Blaine’s supporters condemned Cleveland in the strongest of terms, singing ‘Ma, Ma, Where’s my Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha.’" In fact, the "Gone to the White House…" refrain was added by Cleveland supporters after he defeated Blaine in the election. This is of course surprising, as Wikipedia is known for the accuracy and impartiality of its articles on U.S. history and politics, as illustrated by the classic Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years Of American Independence.

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