Politicians and the political process, even in ostensibly democratic countries, can be deadly. James Gilligan has discovered a devastating truth that has been "hiding in plain sight" for the past century - namely, that when America's conservative party, the Republicans, have gained the presidency, the country has repeatedly suffered from epidemics of violent death. Rates of both suicide and homicide have skyrocketed. The reasons are all too obvious: rates of every form of social and economic distress, inequality, and loss - unemployment, recessions, poverty, bankruptcy, homelessness-also ballooned to epidemic proportions. When that has happened, those in the population who were most vulnerable have "snapped," with tragic consequences for everyone. These epidemics of lethal violence have then remained at epidemic levels until the more liberal parry, the Democrats, regained the White House and dramatically reduced the amount of deadly violence by diminishing the magnitude of the economic distress that had been causing it.