Originally posted by Tormentations
...if Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. got destroyed by a big rock from outer space? No more to the Capitol, Supreme Court Building, Library of
Congress, and congressional office buildings. Would americans like it if that happened? Why or why not?
Since you've run out a series of questions, I've taken the liberty of breaking things into bite-sized chunks in order to make a more coherent
The first thing to keep in mind is that destruction of the 'hard copies" of our founding documents won't change anything about our actual system of
government, for better or worse. Just because the original copies of the Constitution and Bill of Rights don't exist any more doesn't change the
fact that they constitute the foundations of our government. Since the postulated event is limited to Washington DC, there will be plenty of copies of
the Constitution, the amendments to same, and archives of Supreme Court decisions. The net loss in this scenario is huge numbers of human lives, and a
lot of truly priceless history, with no immediate change in the forms of our government.
Assuming the President died in the event, the succession would be:
Vice President, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tem of the Senate, then the Cabinet secretaries, in the order their departments were
founded...State, Treasury, Defense, Attorney General, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health & Human Services, Housing & Urban Development,
Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans' Affairs, and Homeland Security. Since at least one of those people is away from Washington DC at all
times, there will be at least one survivor, and that person will be, by law, the President of the United States, He (or she) will then appoint a Vice
President, and select a cabinet. The missing members of Congress (again, it's not uncommon for one or two to be out of town, so there will probably
be survivors) will be replaced either by appointment from the governor of the state in question, or by special election...the rules vary from state to
state, but are already in place. Once the new President is in place, and the new Congress is able to meet (any office building or auditorium will do),
a new Supreme Court can be selected. There would be a major dislocation, but the government should be able to reconstitute itself in good order.
I am curious...why do you think any American would "like" such an event? Killing off a few tens of thousands of people, destroying hundreds of
historic buildings, and millions of historic documents and artifacts is never a good thing.
What would be impacted?
In a word? Everything. The stock market can drop a hundred points on a whim. An event like this would almost force a suspension of trading for a few
days, just to avoid a panic-driven dumping that would well and truly crater not just the U.S. market, but the international ones as well. The
interruption of government services, combined with the ranting and raving of people who would be broadcasting far and wide about the "end of the U.S.
Government" would probably trigger at least a few riots, and more than likely, at least one foreign power that doesn't understand how things work
here would try something silly, only to discover that the military is very capable of a response outside the Executive Branch in times of emergency.
Would americans be more free from the government if something like that did happen? Would americans take advantage of it and keep those buildings from
being built again?
Since 'the government' didn't go anywhere, Americans wouldn't be any more or less free from its influence after a meteor strike than they were
before. As for keeping the buildings from being rebuilt, what does that have to do with anything? Do you just not like neo-classical architecture? The
government is going to need places to do business, and places to store records....but they could use any building that was large enough for the job.
At risk of setting off the "separation of Church and State" crowd, I'll point out that one of the "mega-church" campuses, like Pastor John
Hagee's Cornerstone Church, would be perfect for the role...large rooms, good acoustics, adequate parking, and even media facilities for press