The Crackpot King and his Cuckoo Coup

We are on the verge of becoming a shithole country. With our criminal wealth disparity, our draconian policing, legal, and justice systems, our history of slavery and strict caste system which has led to persistent hierarchical class structures, the fact that our country is not at all a proper democracy and just squeaks by as a republic, that the overwhelming majority of our wealth that isn’t hoarded and hidden by corporate oligarchs is squandered on excess militarization and endless warfare, that the country is littered with failed communities and crumbling infrastructure, and that the failures of our leadership and our medical system and our sense of communal responsibility mean we can’t even defeat a preventable disease, a case could be made that we are already a shithole country. After all, it’s rare that even in the countries disparaged as shithole countries that the entirety of the population is impoverished and doomed to lifelong wretchedness. Even in most of those traditionally maligned shithole countries, there is an upper class, who live a first world existence behind estate walls and in armored vehicles and private jets which take them to wealthy havens, while the majority of their countries’ populations are consigned to living in third world squalor until their premature deaths. Our country started out more or less that way: there were the wealthy White male landowners, and everyone else on different rungs beneath them. There were strides made towards bringing our country closer to an equal and democratic society with the rise of the organized labor movement, New Deal policies, and Keynesian economics. The wealthy conservative right has since been doing everything to undo that progress and more greatly entrench minoritarian rule over the country. Both Republicans and Democrats, though more brazenly and maliciously the former, have led us to this point, engineered our governmental and economic structures to vastly disproportionately favor the already wealthy and further consolidate wealth within that small oligarchy. The path to this eventual destination of a thriving few and a dying many grew shorter over the first, and hopefully only, Trump term. I have to say “hopefully,” because the Deranged Turd currently poisoning the air in our nation’s prime position of power is doing all he can to cling to power and ensure that we well and truly become the absolute shithole of a country that he and his psychotic ilk are determined to make us.

Trump is attempting a coup. That’s not exaggeration or alarmism, but a statement of evident fact. I make no judgments as to the strength of his coup tactics or their chances of success, but that he’s attempting them is undeniable and worthy of more scrutiny and oppositional rage.

We all know that Turd was claiming that the election would be fraudulent, if he lost, long before the election was held. Now that he has lost, of course he and his idiot fascist cohorts are shouting the completely evidence-free lie nonstop. This alone won’t get him all the way to a second term. He is so despised that all but the most embarrassingly, nakedly, slavishly loyal hacks dismiss his lies summarily or ignore them. But he’s building support with his lies. Or, as always, he’s using his lies to provoke his mostly unchanging existing base of support. His supporters have already murdered innocent people across the country and attempted to kidnap a governor. With the same distance and deniability he always hides behind, Trump is trying to incite violence and insurrection from his cultists.

His campaign’s legal challenges have been mostly bullshit, and for that reason have been thrown out about as quickly as they’ve been filed. Perhaps that will continue to be the case, and even if some sympathetic antidemocratic activist judge decides to throw out some ballots and disqualify some votes, it probably wouldn’t be many, or enough to change the results. But Trump has appointed over two-hundred judges, including three to stolen Supreme Court seats. As we’ve seen from Trump’s past litigious tantrums, his first attempts are often dismissed. But that doesn’t stop him. He has his people rework the wording over and over until a court caves and gives him a version of what he wants. That’s how he got an altered version of his “Muslim Ban” finally held up as lawful by the Supreme Court, without real protest or even much ongoing discussion.

There were stories that Turd’s team had plans to flip electors and have them vote against the will of the electorate even before it was apparent that Trump was losing the electoral college. While maybe considered a farfetched outcome, it’s far from impossible. It would be a completely undemocratic corruption of our already corrupt and undemocratic system, but if anything that may make it even more appealing to Trump and the Republicans. Though this is far from an original idea on the part of Trump and the Republicans. There was talk among Democratic supporters in 2016 of flipping Trump electors to escape his shithole damnation reign and give the presidency to Hillary Clinton. That would have been highly unethical and undemocratic, however preferable and less harmful the result, and there were “faithless electors” in 2016, on both sides, though not enough to change the result. Trump would probably hit that same wall, but may try anyway.

Failing that, there is a possibility of us facing a genuine military coup of the sort made famous by the crackpot dictators of shithole countries the world over. Enamored as he is of these pissant strongman despots, Trump may delight in emulating their actions, and there’s evidence he’s laying the groundwork. He’s been purging the Pentagon and extended military and intelligence offices of more principled national security officials and putting loyalists in their place. This is textbook coup behavior. By installing military officials loyal to him, continuing his lifelong campaign against the notion of consent, our would-be dictator would seek to take the country that has rejected him, by force, imposing martial rule. We’ve seen the trial run of this, when he ordered federal troops to assault and arrest antiracist protesters and tried to deploy the army into US cities against US citizens. Esper wasn’t amenable to that fascistic tactic, but Trump probably expects that Christopher Miller will be.

While he wouldn’t have the support of the full military, we know that the military is downright lousy with white supremacists inclined to follow a fascist like Trump. So are police and government offices around the country. Add to that the white supremacist militias with ties to police, military, and government offcials, and you’ve got a homegrown private army. While Turd may not have the sway or maintain the appearance of authority to turn all the various armed and otherwise empowered forces against the Constitution and the US citizenry to carry out his petty egomaniacal will, he could rally enough to cause catastrophic damage and death.

The Biden posse, much of the media, and career politicians have been calling for calmness. Their take is that we should essentially go on with business as usual, act like the transition is a done deal, or write his reality denial off as yet another money making scam on his way out of office, and ignore Turd. The problem is that he can sow great chaos and violence while they’re ignoring him. Maybe these scenarios of varying nightmarishness are far-fetched. Maybe our institutions and norms are strong enough to remove Trump and toss him away like the trash he is. But he’s already damaged most of the country’s institutions and shat all over its norms. Perhaps the best we can hope for is that he’ll be thwarted by his usual incompetency and predilection for failure. Considering how badly and frequently he and his regime have failed during his reign, I suppose there’s some comfort in that. But he and his cronies and cultists can do so much damage in the process of failing. The real question that arises from all this speculation is not so much what Trump will try to do and what will others do to stop them, but how much longer is he going to be allowed to go free, ranting and spewing bullshit, before he’s regarded and brought down for the fascist criminal despot he is.