Is there any good reason why politicians who leave or are voted out of office shouldn’t be executed?
I mean, OK, sure, technically they’re human and killing humans who don’t want to die is generally considered a bad thing. But putting aside issues of the relative morality of offing your no-longer-elected representatives for a moment and looking at the thing solely from a pragmatic viewpoint, is the benefit a society receives from having these guys around after they’ve screwed things up so badly they can’t get more votes than the other asshole great enough to justify their continued existence?
Sure, some politicians go on and do greatand admirable charitable works after their time in office. But most take cushy jobs on the boards of companies on whose behalf they screwed over their constituents, or charge thousands of dollars for speaking engagements, or take million dollar paycheques in exchange for allowing ghostwriters to try and minimize, or even justify their misbehaviour while in office.
Why should these people be allowed to use what’s supposed to be public service to enrich themselves (even more) in private life?
I don’t know about you, but I can never look at a politician without cynically wondering what their real game is, secure in the knowledge that whatever it is, serving the public interest will be, at most, a happy side effect of their real agenda. If I knew they were going to die shortly after they left office, I’d at least know that whatever their game was, it wouldn’t directly benefit them. And I suspect efforts to directly benefit their family members would, if discovered, be a definite vote loser, so “Sorry sis, but my incompetent nephew’s gonna have to get a cushy civil service job in his actual merit, no, I’d help him if I could but, y’know, if I did they’d fucking kill me.” Imagine the savings in ethics investigations if those with options to compromise their ethics knew doing so could be a one-way ticket to a gas chamber.1
That’s not even considering the savings that’d come in terminating these parasites: no pension plan payouts; reduced health care costs; no secret service agents wasted watching the ranch for ten years; no millions of dollars spent avoiding a trial for war crimes…
Hell, these guys’ deaths could actually generate money. Ringside seats for the firing squad would go for hundreds of dollars plus TicketMaster’s gouging, and those who couldn’t afford to be there live could watch it all live on pay-per-view! Plus, letting people vote on the type of death a politician voted out of office receives would probably convince more people to vote than trying to get the lesser of x number of evils into office currently does.
If we killed officeholders who lost the public’s confidence, they might actually feel beholden to the public they claim they serve, rather than the corporations that fund their campaigns. If 70% of the country wants universal health coverage and you won’t need it in a couple years if you don’t give it to them, how much time are you gonna spend with bullshit delaying tactics and toothless reforms designed to protect the obscene amount of money pocketed by insurance execs? You wanna quit before your term is over? Sure, no problem–now you’re the one who’s going to be shot at from helicopters next time out.
The type of people running for office would change dramatically overnight. Off the top of my head, I can conceive of only two personality types who’d volunteer for public office if they knew they were going to die when it was all over: people who actually, legitimately wanted to help the public, and the “Batshit? Batshit isn’t crazy, I’m crazy” insane. Either way, it’d make campaign debates a damn sight more entertaining:
Moderator: Mr. Goode, how do you feel about the disparity in income between society’s wealthiest members and everyone else?
Max Goode (Canadian Idealist Party): We have polls indicating that 90% of people don’t see a problem with a maximum wage that cuts off a single person’s potential earnings at $500,000 a year. When I’m PM, I promise I will institute just such a wage freeze, or die trying.
Moderator: And how do you feel about the distribution of wealth in society, Mr. Bilderberg?
Mohammed Tiberius Bilderberg (Independent): Some people say Jesus had blue eyes, but I don’t think so. I say Jesus had brown eyes. I AM THY LORD RETURNED! BOW DOWN BEFORE ME OR, OR–O MAN, THERE AREN’T EVEN WORDS TO DESCRIBE HOW SMITED THOU SHALT BE!
I’m sure I’m missing something here, but at this wonderfully amitriptyline-infused moment, the idea seems like a winner to me. What am I missing, other than the ability to focus on anything more than a couple inches in front of me?
Next on “Prescription Medication-Induced Reflections with Andrew Foley”: Is there any good reason not to eat the entire board of Goldman-Sachs and use their ground-up bones as an aphrodisiac?
- Well, a two-way ticket, really, but they wouldn’t be able to enjoy the scenery on the way out. [↩]