When a rifle bullet neatly assassinated the American president in 2025, it seemed at first the same sort of anomaly that killed Lincoln, Garfield, or Kennedy. When the next died six months later in the same fashion, people became nervous. They became accusatory.
They became preemptive.
Murder of the opposition's presidents and candidates became business as usual. It narrowed the field faster than debates or polls ever did. The average tenure for an American president from 2027 to 2039 was eight and a half months.
Each side lost their best and brightest to the bloody competition until neither party wanted their best to run. In back rooms over sweaty handshakes, they agreed that candidates would be off limits. Neither wanted to give up the option to murder a disliked president.
Surprising the politically unsavvy, the nation passed a constitutional amendment declaring candidacy involuntary upon nomination by a quorum of one's party. For the party's least-liked, most-troublesome members the office became at best a threat, at worst a tacit death sentence. In the end, it came down to the will of the people: Which party did the nation want to chastise with a death that year?
Which way do you vote?