Four U.S. presidents were assassinated. Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy suffered the ultimate form of term limits.
But for John Wilks Booth, the assassins were disenfranchised angry loners, some suffering from mental disorders.
John Wilks Booth was a patriot who took out perhaps the most toxic president we’ve ever had. The winners of the Civil War wrote the history books and made a hero and martyr out of a considerable enemy of freedom and liberty. I’ve never been a fan of Abe Lincoln. A split nation was far better than the huge loss of life and suffering that our Civil War brought Americans on both sides.
It only takes marginal intelligence and a created opportunity to kill a president. Improvised explosives, incendiary devices, firearms all can be command fired from great distances. Sophisticated killers can watch live television feeds broadcast in real time to determine when to press the button taking out the world’s greatest leader.
The Secret Service can never hope to eliminate the constant threats, attempts and actual assassinations. They will happen just because they will.
I would be surprised and amazed if we got through another presidential term with hot button, toxic people that are now likely to end up being inaugurated in January 2009.
My bet is the country will go on like it always does with a Constitutional successor. Someone will be offended or angry enough to do what they could not accomplish at the ballot box.
The chances of any president being killed are a little greater than 10% based on history. Get ready for the rider less horse in a funeral parade. Perhaps the next one will have a side-saddle.