With the US midterms fast approaching, the recent attack on Paul Pelosi marked the all-too-predictable escalation of the violence that appears to be increasingly normalised within US politics. It also highlighted the impossible task of protecting America’s politicians and their families in a climate of heightened sectarianism. None of it surprises, even if the shock is rarely diminished. In Carol Lennig’s recent (and highly recommended) history of the Secret Service, Zero Fail, she makes the point that “the Secret Service [fulfils] its Zero Fail mission based not on its skills, people, training, or technology, but on dumb luck.” It is nigh on impossible to protect America’s leaders. When presidents are not safe, the threats are compounded with every step we take away from the presidency.