Reagan was shot, but survived. JFK was not so lucky. W., too, if my memory is correct, has been fired at (or someone threw a dud grenade at him when he was speaking). Anyway, with the news that President Bush's job approval rating is at an all-time low of 39%, he and his secret service men should be worried for his life. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that anything is afoot. But history tells us a lot about extremely unpopular political leaders: they are especially vulnerable to assassination attempts.
Why? Machiavelli said it best. The most powerful remedy a prince has against those who would conspire to kill him is "not to be hated by the people generally" (The Prince, Chapter 19). Now, 39% approval is not exactly hatred, but Mr. Bush doesn't exactly have the good-will of the electorate either. According to Machiavelli, conspiracies are entertained in the minds of mad men when they believe they will satisfy the people with the death of the ruler. Because the difficulties on the side of conspiracy are so enormous, and because the protection of the ruler is so great, only the prospect of being praised by the people will motive assassins. Dick Cheney got a big "F--- You" on television—which was met with much applause on Comedy Central. It is not inconceivable that the President will receive a much more deadly message. Again, I don't support such crimes, but history is laden with assassination attempts. This is a warning, not a threat: the President ignores the potentials of the situation to his own peril.