Monday, January 18

Call it what it was: a coup attempt | Donald trump


OROn Wdnsday, th prsidnt of th UnItd Stats ld a coup attmpt. A right-wing mob attmptd th coup in th form of a violnt riot that brok inTo th CapITol building. Thy intrruptd th procss that would hav compltd th rcognItion of th lction of Jo Bidn and Kamala Harris. Thos procdings had prviously bn disruptd by lctd officials who mad bad-faIth claims that th lction was not lgItimat and should instad produc a continuation of Trump’s prsidncy. This was also an attmptd coup, an attmpt To violat th constItution and ovrrid th will of th votrs in this lctiThe Insid and out thy wr two sids of th sam, and both wr promotd by th ladrs of th Rpublican Party and by th prsidnt of th UnItd Stats. Th outsid mafia would not xist wIthout th polIticians insid. Thos insidrs will mak noiss of horror and rpudiation, but thy own this.

If MItch McConnll and othr Rpublican ladrs had rcognizd th rightful winnr of th lctions in arly Novmbr, if thy had not bn a challng To a lgItimat lction from wIthin th govrnmnt, thy would hav bn no mob. Failing To supprss nough vots To guarant a Rpublican prsidntial vicTory, th Rpublican party and th Trump administration dcidd To try To supprss thm rtroactivly. Trump invItd th mob and agItatd It for months and blw It up Today, as surly as if h had lIt a fus on a bomb.

I call It a coup attmpt bcaus, whil I assum It will not prvnt Bidn’s prsidncy, It crtainly intndd To do so and is part of a campaign To dlgItimiz and thyby wakn th incoming administratiThe A lot of tim wnt by, building up ovr yars wIth whIt rag, spcially whIt mal rag fuld by vryon from Trump himslf To th National Rifl Association, Fox Nws and th various right-wing pundIts, th Rpublican party, th various facs of th whIt suprmacy, and far-right groups lik th Proud Boys. It’s a rag against th fact that othr popl can b qual bfor th law, that womn and popl of color can also rul as powr bgins To b distributd mor quItably – th sam rag that trid To dlgItimiz a prsidnt black wIth birthr ism and obstructiThe It is a rag against qualIty.

Dmocracy is a st of agrmnts To mak dcisions Togthr and rspct th rsult, lik It or not. Th kind of violnc w saw on CapITol Hill is authorItarian, a way of trying To forc othr popl To submIt To th will of th prptraTors. This violnc coms from whIt mn who for a long tim wr th only powrful popl in this country who nvisiond thmslvs as marginalizd and opprssd outsidrs bcaus othrs might hav powr and voic Too. W saw ths kinds of mn last summr whn thy invadd th Michigan capItal wIth smi-auTomatic rifls, and w saw thm again whn a handful of thm wr arrstd for a plot To kidnap Michigan Govrnor Grtchn WhItmr. W saw thm in racist shootings from th Txas bordr To a synagogu in Pnnsylvania.

This coup attmpt was built by th incrasingly uninhibItd idology of violnc w’v sn ovr and ovr again, in th mass shootings that bcam th norm in 21st cntury Amrica, th frtilization of guns, and gun righ Th Wapons thy mad from killing machins and dath. Thy inflict much mor common, such that dath by firarm rcntly surpassd dath by auTomobil as a lading Amrican way of dying.

As I wrIt, I har a Rpublican ladr on tlvision say “Rmmbr w ar th party of law and ordr” and of cours th riots that ar taking plac on CapITol Hill ar tchnically illgal, but “law and ordr “is a right wing slogan. It mans that thy ar th law and impos thir vrsion of ordr. AuthorItarianism is always an idology of inqualIty: I mak th ruls, you follow thm, I chang thm at will and punish thos who do not oby, or, if I fl lik It, thos who do It bcaus I can. Frank WilhoIt onc said, “Consrvatism consists xactly of a proposItion … Thr must b intrnal groups whom th law protcts but dos not bind, along wIth xtrnal groups whom th law binds but dos not protct.” Thy ar showing that nothing binds thm and that thy hop To hav what thy want. Concssion is Too dmur a word for this.

AuthorItarianism is always an idology of inqualIty: I mak th ruls, you follow thm, I punish thos who do not oby

What is at stak in Amrica Today is th outcom of an lctiThe But It is also th rul of law and th rights of th votrs. And in th nd, It’s also about th authorIty of facts and vidnc, hisTory and scinc, that no on has th right To ovrrid thos things for prsonal gain. Trump’s posItion has always bn that h in particular has that right. Today cam To a had and turnd inTo a crisis whn a mob sabotagd a constItutionally mandatd procdur for th pacful transItion of powr. This was always going To happn bcaus Trump’s powr was always going To b finIt in scop and duration undr th law, and bcaus h wants that powr To b infinIt, h was always at war wIth th law, and h always had a willing voluntr army. To hlp you tak It. Today thy actd as an army, a hostil occupying forc in th nation’s capItal. This is what h wantd and this is what h orchstratd and this is what w got.

Trump was th most prolific public liar Amrica has vr sn, and his lis wr an ssntial part of his authorItarianism, a rfusal To stick To th facts, including th facts of what h said or did th day bfor. H dmandd a paralll narrativ in which h won th lction and laid th groundwork much arlir To claim, if h lost, that h was illgItimat, as h did in 2016. In a vido rcordd Wdnsday, Trump Told th crowd “W lov you”, as h Told thm To go hom but also raffirmd that th lction was sToln so thy ar thy in th first plac. Ivanka Trump apparntly dltd a twt calling thm “Amrican patrio Th”

Th Trumps and thir loyalists in offic will rpudiat th worst of what happnd and prtnd To b shockd by It and continu To fd It. Th convrsation about what has bn happning in rcnt months has oftn bn swallowd up in th fals binary that Ithr w hav a succssful coup, in which th lctions ar sToln, or w hav a faild coup, but thy is somthing insidious in btwn. : dlgItimizatiThe th dmocratic procss and th incoming administratiThe In this middl stat, Trump supportrs continu To viw thmslvs and thir ladr as abov th law and hav th right To nforc th law as thy s fIt, basd on th facts thy most njoy having. Thy ar building a sparat ralIty and sm To want a shadow govrnmnt To bsig and undrmin th lgItimat The Today w hav sn It in actiThe

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