Another week, another atrocity against defenceless people, whose only fault was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I can understand the reaction. You want blood. You want someone to blame. You want the keys thrown away and the perpetrators to rot. I understand this. You want a party or grouping to stand up and say “no more”.
Inevitably, the loudest voices come from the far-right. “We’ll solve your problems”, they’ll say. “We’ll sort them out”. Damn right, you’ll say. I’ll vote for you.
But there’s this small problem. Because, underlying these promises are technicalities those far-right groups also need to solve. Technicalities such as the Constitution. Technicalities such as the rule of law. Technicalities such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Technicalities such as restrictions against torture, illegal detention, the right to protest and assemble peacefully. The right to freedom of speech. The right to a fair hearing. Innocence until proven guilty. Lots of technicalities that get in the way. Get rid of them and you can really sort out the bad boys.
But all these inconvenient technicalities are not just there to protect the bad boys. Strangely enough, they are there to protect you too. And, once they are dismissed and diminished, the protections go down for everyone.
So, go ahead, vote for the politicians with the easy promises, the salve to your outrage.
After all, that’s what you want. You want a wolf.
But what you’ll get, if you’re not careful, is a wolf you were not quite expecting.
A wolf that might just come for you.