Blame the founding fathers. Yes, they get credit for ripping a page out of the ancient Greek playbook when it came to blueprinting our republic, but they left out the best part.
In the fifth century B.C.E., ostracism was all the rage in Athens and it meant more than shunning someone. It was about chosing a jerk to kick out of the country for ten years, and warning the winner that an early return meant a premature death.
Each year, the Athenian assembly would decide whether or not they felt like seeing someone expunged. When enough officials were on board, an election for the biggest loser was turned over to citizens. Nominees were etched into pottery shards, called ostrakon, which were like scrap paper back in the day. The person with the most write-in votes had ten days to pack up and leave. No charges given, no defense accepted. You’ve plucked our last nerve. Now, vamoose.
All in all, not a bad idea.