Robert Fico and Shinzo Abe

Robert Fico, Slovakia’s Prime Minister, was shot a couple of weeks ago. He, thankfully, survived and has been discharged from the hospital. The man who tried to kill him is in jail. But one thing I noticed was that so much of the coverage of the shooting made it seem as though, well, maybe someone trying kill Fico was, you know, understandable because he is “controversial.” By that, you can guess the rest – he is a populist. He is not in favour of arming Ukraine. He is more right-of-centre than the EU might like, and so on. So therefore, isn’t it normal that one might try to shoot him? WTF? He was democratically elected, he is hardly a dictator and hardly unreasonable. (And I say this as someone who would arm Ukraine till the cows came home if I had any power.) Have we reached the point where someone who doesn’t fit the priors of the mainstream is considered to be an expected target for violence? The more I thought about it, the more I remembered the reaction to the assassination of Shinzo Abe, which I wrote about here.

So I guess we have reached that point. It is “normal” to try to kill someone you find objectionable. Brendan O’Neill writes about the attempt on Fico’s life and the subsequent reaction here.