This would be -- I think most people would agree -- ample punishment for a lifetime. But Pierce clearly had some really rough karma to pay off.
It's one thing to have your gonads shoved so far into your pelvic cavity that your brain shuts down all consciousness. It's another to have that be the central issue upon which a nation of your peers will decide whether you are fit to govern. But that is very much what happened. No less than the New York Times asked whether it was physical weakness or cowardice that was "the cause of his being unhorsed." The Whigs made it their central campaign issue.
And the Democrats fought back. Their strategy: Accuse Winfield Scott of not being a murderer. Back in his early years, Winfield Scott -- whose military nickname, "Old Fuss And Feathers," came from his obsessive attention to protocol -- served with General Andrew Jackson -- whose military nickname, "Old Hickory," came from the renowned texture and toughness of his genitals in an age before sandpaper. In 1817, Jackson challenged Scott to a duel and Scott refused for a number of reasons including, no doubt, the fact that guns refuse to fire at Andrew Jackson.
The duel was essentially forgotten until 1852, when the Democrats accused Scott of cowardice. (Cowardice was a big issue in 1852. If you didn't punch any man that gave you a sideways glance, you had your job and family revoked.) In case the relevance of this has worn off with the dates and names in the previous paragraph, let me restate what happened: The Democratic party thought someone was unfit for the presidency because he had refused to murder their own presidential candidate 35 years earlier.
"He fought in a war and now doesn't feel like killing? How can
the American people trust such a flip-flopper?"