On the killing of politicians

I’ve been remiss in keeping my blogroll cleaned and updated, so I’ll be taking care of that soon. One of the sites going onto the list is summer patriot, winter soldier. I’m intrigued by his idea to bring civility back to politics by reinstating dueling. I think it might have the salutary effect he expects, which is why I don’t expect it to occur.

Another possibility, which I also don’t expect to occur, was postulated in the science fiction novel Lone Star Planet. The planet in question in this book has a justice system which has to answer the following questions when a politician is killed by a citizen: was the deceased a practicing politician, and if so, was the killing justified?

Just think how many fewer laws we’d have on the books if the Congressmen or Senators who introduced questionable bills had to worry about how strongly any citizen felt about their performance in office. In the book, politicians were allowed to arm and defend themselves; if you died while attempting to strike a blow for Liberty, well … too bad for you.

I think both measures together would be more effective than either would be, alone, but there are drawbacks that would have to be dealt with, somehow. The first measure would make people temper their language, but you’d have some people who would take unreasonable umbrage in an attempt to stifle speech. Currently, they use the courts.

The second measure would tend to keep politicians true to their oath of office. Well, it would if we still had a strong tradition of individualism in this country. What would happen now is bulletproof cars, underground parking, and legislative buildings closed to the public.

Not much difference from what it currently is, really. Ah, well. I can dream.

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