‘Absolute stupidity’: Missouri Republicans’ attempts to bring back dueling senators


A Missouri Republican’s proposal to reintroduce dueling to resolve disputes in the House has been called “utter stupidity” by a leading historian of political violence.

Related: “The goal was to silence people”: Historian Joan Freeman on the violence in Congress

“Once upon a time,” Joan B. Freeman From Yale University chirp“They were smart enough to fight the duel outside. The draft I saw suggested doing it in the hall. This does not show bravery, bravery or manliness – if it is supposed to. It shows utter stupidity.”

Freeman is the author of Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War.

The state senator behind the proposal said he was making a point about the breakdown of systemic order in Missouri politics.

The rule change project came to national notice when it did to publish to social media by Democrats in the state Senate.

“The Republican Civil War in Missouri continues to escalate as a member of the Freedom Caucus faction has introduced a proposal to change the rule to allow senators to challenge an ‘offending senator to a duel.’ books.

The Missouri Freedom Caucus is a hard-right group modeled after the group of the same name in the U.S. House of Representatives and has a similarly tense relationship with party leaders. Obstructing political actions.

Al Qaeda project is reading: “If a Senator’s honor has been impugned by another Senator to the point of being beyond repair and in order for the offending Senator to obtain satisfaction, that Senator may correct the perceived insult to the Senator’s honor by challenging the offending Senator to a duel.

“The trusted representative, known as the Second, of the offended Senator must send a written challenge to the offending Senator. The two Senators must agree to the terms of the duel, including the choice of weapons, which must be witnessed and executed within each other’s seconds.” .

“The duel shall take place in the well of the Senate at noon at the time agreed upon by both parties to the duel.”

The author, Nick Schroer, represents Missouri Senate District 2. According to him Personal BiographyHe is a lawyer specializing in family law and criminal defense.

and his chief of staff, Jimmy Murphy, He told Newsweek that Schroer was “deeply committed to restoring the sense of honor in the Missouri Senate” but suggested “the idea of ​​dueling…in the figurative sense.”

Shroyer He told the Kansas City Star: “The behavior we’ve seen on the ground, the lack of communication from the leadership, and politics as a whole is eroding… If we’re going to go back in time and act like an uncivilized society, I think we need to have a debate.”

The duel was long Part of the American political landscapeleading to the murder of founding father Alexander Hamilton by Aaron Burr in 1804. It had largely faded away by the 1850s, but other forms of political violence continued.

Freeman has highlighted how incidents of political violence occur – including that of South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks. Hitting with a stick The 1856 revolt of Charles Sumner, an anti-slavery senator from Massachusetts, paved the way to the conflict.

In 2021, after Donald Trump incited the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and amid fears of escalating violence, Freeman told The Guardian of the incidents she studied: “Depending on how they act, the language used, the positions that members of Congress take, it is intentionally intended to anger Americans, Which he does.

“This type of violence can encourage violence and intensify political discourse [and] It seems to justify extremism and violence. It has an impact on the audience. If the public is angry, they will demand more things from their representatives – more violence, more extremism.

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