The US constitution is a tangle of grand Enlightenment ideals and messy post-monarchic politics. American history is, in some senses, the long and painful process of rescuing the ideals from the politics.
In the trial by water, the point was not to kill the accused. If they sank and were thereby proven innocent, they were supposed to be pulled out before they drowned. Some did die, true, but only by accident. I wish we could say the same about today’s trial by cop.
Yeah, this one’s a little angrier and less funny than usual. We’ll get back to the funny stuff next time, I promise.