How to Prevent a Coup in Washington

W.J. Astore

Three retired Army generals recently wrote an op-ed at The Washington Post on their fears of a coup in the aftermath of the next presidential election in 2024. Their scenario: Biden gets reelected, but Trump or a Trump-like candidate refuses to concede. A hyper-partisan military splits, with some units throwing their support to the loser, leading to a coup attempt. The three generals further suggest that the military must act now to prepare for, and thus to prevent, such a coup.

I have several thoughts on this. First, and most obvious, is the military’s oath of office, which is to the U.S. Constitution. If the U.S. military, with all its authority in our society, and all the colossal sums of money we give it, can’t be trusted to honor its oath, then there is truly something fundamentally wrong with its leadership and its ethos. I would suggest immediate public firings and prosecution of any leaders who put political partisanship before the U.S. Constitution and the oath of office.

Second, what’s most striking to me is what these generals don’t say. They talk about partisanship and seem to assume the enemy is solely from the Trumpian wing of the Republican Party. If Trump would just disappear, along with his movement, America would be just fine. Really?

Here’s my take: Partisanship surely does exist, but it needs to be understood. It needs to be connected to America’s disastrous and dishonest wars and also to the greedy and dishonest behavior of the generals. If military veterans are dangerous, it’s because they feel betrayed. They believe their situation is hopeless — and thus many are alienated and angry. A Trump-like figure can exploit this alienation and anger precisely because the Democratic Party is doing so little to help the working classes, including military veterans. (Of course, Republicans are arguably doing even less.)

If you want fewer hyper-partisan veterans, give them something tangible, like higher wages, affordable health care, better job opportunities — some recognition that their sacrifices were not in vain. Show them you’re working to enrich all citizens, not just those who are already in the top 10%, or the top 1% for that matter. 

That said, I want to stress the culpability of the U.S. military in creating the potential conditions for a coup. The warrior ethos of today’s all-volunteer military is corrosive to democratic society. It’s the generals who advanced this warrior ethos, and it’s the generals who accepted, even applauded, the elimination of the draft. They didn’t want a citizen-military that would question the constitutionality of aggressive wars overseas. Now, a few of them admit to worrying about those demobbed “warriors” who’ve learned to believe less in the Constitution and more in the shock and awe of decapitating strikes.

These generals further fail to note the total lack of accountability within the senior leadership of the U.S. military for Iraq and Afghanistan, among other disasters. Indeed, the generals have, almost to a man, cashed in, none more so than General Stanley McChrystal, who actually was fired for cause. The vast majority of today’s generals retire with six-figure pensions and go immediately to work for the military-industrial complex. In place of Cincinnatus or George Washington, their role model is Gordon Gekko.

Want to stop future coup attempts? Admit to veterans that the wars they fought were based on, driven by, and perpetuated with lies. Unite to advance true democratic reforms. Act to ensure all future wars are defensive and authorized only by congressional declaration. And return to the citizen-soldier traditions of Cincinnatus and George Washington. Most of all, seek peace, among ourselves and with all nations.

Cincinnatus surrendered power and went back to the plow. George Washington has been called the American Cincinnatus. Today’s generals are much more fond of cashing in (Image courtesy of ohkylel @twitter)

33 thoughts on “How to Prevent a Coup in Washington

  1. Here’s a riddle for you, which I heard from Ira Kurzban, who was President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s US lawyer: Q: “Why has there never been a coup in Washington DC?” A: “Because there’s no U.S. Embassy in Washington DC.” Peace!Nicolas Davies

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “If you want fewer hyper-partisan veterans, give them something tangible, like higher wages, affordable health care, better job opportunities — some recognition that their sacrifices were not in vain.” But it’s the lousy Democrats who are causing their problems? Not the intransigence, hypocrisy and venality of the Republican party in refusing to do something that might lift Americans, their refusal in service to their golden boy rather than to the American people, to join in passing the Build Back Better Act? And I’m not saying we’re angels but by and large, a majority of our politicians and fellow Democrats want what’s best for all, not just white, male citizens.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m no fan of the Republicans. But the last time I checked, the Democrats controlled the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.

      It’s not enough to blame Joe Manchin or the Senate Parliamentarian. The Dems are in control and they have to act — they have to get it done. No excuses.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. No, Dems are not in control.
    As long as you have Manchin and Sinema playing with the Republicans, Dems have to back off, redirect, alter, abandon, and eliminate many of their goals. Should they thrust ahead and let the chips fall wherever?, yes. Expand the so-called ‘Supreme’ court; Eliminate the filibuster; Pass the bbb and other citizen-benefit bills. Be Progressive… nothing to lose.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. No, the Democrats are doing exactly what their leadership always intended to do. Aside from the fact that Sinema and Manchin were elevated by the Democratic Party itself, which fully knew what they were (Sinema in particular got DSCC funding and key staffers, ans was boosted by Schumer), if the Democrats actually wanted to apply real pressure, they could start by threatening Manchin with putting his daughter under federal investigation for her blatant corruption. They haven’t, because they don’t want to. Stop falling for the pretense that Democrats are just perpetually weak.

      I’m so damn tired of the willful gullibility of you party loyalists. The mainstream Democratic Party is not progressive, by any definition. They do not care about what you care about. They haven’t for decades. In fact they actively oppose most of what you care about. They aren’t your friend. They aren’t just weak, or stupid, or even inept. They simply don’t care about your agenda.

      We go through this every few years, and you dupes keep falling for the Lucy football trick.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Powerful business interests can debilitate high-level elected officials through implicit or explicit threats to transfer or eliminate jobs and capital investment, thus economic stability, if corporate ‘requests’ aren’t accommodated. It’s a political crippling that’s worsened by a blaring news-media that’s permitted to be naturally critical of incumbent governments, especially in regards to job and capital transfers and economic weakening.

      I believe that Joe Biden noticed (or definitely should have noticed) long before this pandemic that American presidents, and Canadian PMs, are mostly symbolically ‘in charge’, beneath the most power-entrenched and saturated national/corporate interests and institutions. Those elected heads ‘lead’ a virtual corpocracy, i.e. “a society dominated by politically and economically large corporations”. One can only doubt that the Harris/Biden administration will be permitted to make a notably practical improvement in poor and low-income Americans’ quality of life, regardless of how much the administration may or may not want to deliver it. …

      A few successful social/labor uprisings notwithstanding, notably the Bolshevik and French revolutions, it seems to me that big business and the superfluously wealthy essentially have the police and military ready to foremost protect mega power and money interests, even over the environmental-stability needs of the protesting masses. I can imagine that there are/were lessons learned from them — a figurative How to Hinder Progressive Revolutions 101, perhaps? — with the clarity of hindsight by big power and money interests. The police and military can claim they must bust heads to maintain law and order as a priority; thus the absurdly unjust inequities and inequalities can persist.


  4. First verse composition of the new year (with West Point graduate, Republican Congressman, CIA director, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo especially in mind):

    Oath of Orifice

    You swore you wouldn’t lie or cheat or steal,
    or tolerate among you those who do:
    an oath expressive of a high ideal;
    but rare in practice as a flying seal;
    which is to say exceedingly unreal
    like body-counts and budgets, neither true;
    or “taking out” Jihadi Number Two;
    or weaponry that works when ordered to,
    regardless of effect on troop and crew
    who anyway have not the slightest clue
    why they should fight and die for such as you.

    In Orifice, that is, within the hole
    from out of which emerges turds and gas
    you decorated leaders on the dole
    persist in playing your anointed role:
    to slide and slither up the greasy pole;
    displaying proudly tits and balls of brass;
    while kissing up to some “commanding” ass;
    and kicking down upon the lower class;
    not giving one’s “commander” any sass.
    You “fight” by leading with your jaw of glass.
    Why so surprised at what has come to pass?

    Two decades in Afghanistan you spent.
    Like Vietnam, a loss that means “success”
    because back home few own while most must rent.
    So who cares if you didn’t make a dent
    in propaganda “goals” you never meant?
    What counts is that you’ve made a bloody mess
    without the slightest sweat or strain or stress.
    You’ve taken much but given only less
    for which the bible thumpers shout “Gawd Bless!”
    saluting while they beg for more duress
    which you’ll see that they get. So just swear: “Yes!”

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2022

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think your first point is the critical one, Bill. Ill-served as veterans may be, the rank-and-file don’t call the shots. Rather, only current leadership has that power, so aasuring that those leadership positions are filled by people loyal to their oaths is imperative. Veterans individually or in groups could support a coup (as we saw on January 6th), but for the military as a body to back TFG or someone similar, the orders would have to come from the top.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The corporate/military coup occurred a long time ago, during the Second World War. Sheldon Wolin explains (from Democracy, Incorporated – Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (2008):

    “The wartime imaginary was not abandoned after 1945 but reconceived as a “Cold War” between the United States and the Soviet Union, a showdown between capitalism and anti-capitalism. The undeclared stake concerned domestic policy. Would the egalitarian tendencies encouraged by the New Deal and its accompanying faith in governmental regulation of the economy be resumed after World War II? The policy-makers of the Cold War would decide that issue by assigning a huge proportion of the nation’s resources to defense [war] rather than welfare.
    The Cold War consolidated the power of capital and began the reaction against the welfare state but without abandoning the strong state. What was abandoned was all talk of participatory democracy.” p. 26

    “… what attracted decision-makers to choosing ‘war’ [as their operative governing paradigm] is that Americans of the twentieth century had no direct experience of it and hence were receptive to having warfare imagined for them – and Hollywood happily obliged with ‘war movies.’ Save for actual combatants sent overseas and economic shortages at home, World War II was unexperienced. After 1945 ‘war’ was a tabula rasa on which opinion-makers and government decision-makers were free to constitute its meaning in terms that pretty much suited their purposes, allowing them to set the character of public debate and to acquire a vastly enlarged range of governmental powers – powers that, when they did not violate the Constitution, deformed it. … The meaning of war was given a plasticity that allowed the new image-makers to set its parameters as they pleased.” p. 32

    “The development of an extended relationship between the military and the corporate economy began in earnest. National defense was declared inseparable from a strong economy. The fixation upon mobilization and rearmament inspired the gradual disappearance from the national political agenda of the regulation and control of corporations. The defender of the free world needed the power of the globalizing, expanding corporation, not an economy hampered by ‘trust-busting.’ … The ultimate merger would be between capitalism and democracy. Once the identity and security of democracy were successfully identified with the Cold War and the methods of waging it, the stage was set for the intimidation of most politics left of right.” p. 34

    “… Nationalism and patriotism, rather than ideology, sufficed to control the population and gain its support. Patriotism required no collective self-examination, only the spontaneous response to the simple fact that we had been attacked.
    This changed dramatically with the advent of the Cold War when the power imaginary turned inwards. … The appearance of a new set of political actors … marked a new form of governmental power: thought policing to enforce ideological conformity.” p. 35

    I would only differ from professor Wolin’s masterful treatise in that he employs the adjective “inverted” to describe America’s corporate-military totalism (formally known as Fascism), whereas I would use “perverted.” At any rate, the failure of the United States to fully demobilize the gargantuan standing military after 1945 sealed the fate of the former republic, as its founding slave-owners and mercantilist bankers had predicted in 1789. Closing the proverbial barn door three-quarters-of-a-century after the horses got hauled off to the glue factory seems a bit tardy, to say the least.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Mr. Wiling analyzes the post-1945 situation in policy terms what has been reported in quite literal terms: war materiel left on Pacific islands wasn’t even brought back to the States, but was instead directly transshipped to the environs of Indochina. Conflicts there were already “anticipated” before Japan surrendered.


    2. Although Ronald Reagan may have been correct in his observation that “Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong”, I have long wondered what may have historically come to fruition had the U.S. remained the sole possessor of atomic weaponry.

      There’s a presumptive, and perhaps even arrogant, concept of American governance as somehow, unless physically provoked, being morally/ethically above using nuclear weapons internationally.
      After President Harry S. Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur as commander of the forces warring with North Korea — for the latter’s public remarks about how he would/could use dozens of atomic bombs to promptly end the war — Americans’ approval-rating of the president dropped to 23 percent. It is still a record-breaking low, even lower than the worst approval-rating points of the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson.

      I wonder: had it not been for the formidable international pressure on Truman (and perhaps his personal morality) to relieve MacArthur as commander, would/could Truman eventually have succumbed to domestic political pressure to allow MacArthur’s command to continue?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. With the corporate-military coup a long-standing fait accompli (“accomplished fact”), the discussion now can do little but lament the economic (which determine other) effects of unconstrained oligarchic CorpGov. Two transcripts worth keeping on hand for ready reference:

    (1) Economics of the new cold war and US ‘super imperialism’ with economist Michael Hudson, The (May 12, 2021)

    (2) Webinar with Michael Hudson: a 4000-year perspective on economy, money and debt, The Unz Review(April 27, 2021)

    One of my favorite sections from (1) above, for those who could use a brutally honest assessment of the American corporate oligarchy’s junior right-wing political faction (No Thank You Very Much Bill Clinton and Barack Obama):

    [begin quoted excerpt — bold font for emphasis added]

    There’s no way that any Wall Street economist that I know can see if the economy is really going to recover. The stock market is going way up, thanks to a Federal Reserve policy of subsidizing bonds and stocks, with 83% owned by the 1% of the population. But the Federal Reserve is not backing any spending into the actual economy.

    Well that’s where the first part of President Biden’s speech came in. He was talking about building infrastructure and somehow reviving the economy. But it doesn’t look like he’s going to get much support from this from the Republicans, and he wants to be bipartisan.

    In other words, he says the Democratic Party, as always, won’t do anything that Republicans wouldn’t agree on. Because the Democrats are an arm of the Republican Party. Their role is to protect the Republican Party from left-wing criticism.

    So you can expect a wishy washy sort of slow decline with a few rapid spikes in decline as the Covid crisis ends. And you’re having almost a preparation for this by – I think Biden and the government people realize that the economy cannot regain its former industrial position, because it’s a rentier economy now.

    Money is not made by companies investing in industry and factories and means of production. When companies do make profits, they are largely monopoly rents, or resource rents, or other forms of rent extraction.

    And 90% of corporate income in the United States is spent on share buybacks and dividend payouts, not on investing in new production. So nobody’s really expecting new private investment to occur in the United States, that is private capital investment in means of production.

    So Biden says, well, if the private sector won’t do it, then the government can do it. But his idea of the government doing it is to give government money to private companies that will build industrialization. And he wants to essentially replicate the military-industrial complex into an enormous public-private partnership, to build very, very high-cost infrastructure that will make it almost impossible for Americans to have any trade competitiveness with other countries.

    Well if you’re going to create a high-cost rentier economy, that is post-industrialized like that, what do you do? You say it’s not our fault, foreigners are doing it to us; it’s all China’s fault – as if China had something to do with American de-industrialization.

    [end quoted excerpt]

    Lots more. Truly brilliant history and analysis from research economist Michael Hudson.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. With just about all the money flowing upward to the richest few, it’s no surprise Americans are angry. Indeed, it’s amazing more Americans aren’t marching on the Capitol. Shamefully, the last protest/riot was instigated and exploited by a spoiled rich man with the maturity level of a three-year-old.

    I’d like to see MORE marches on the Capitol, this time demanding higher wages, affordable health care, debt relief, a cleaner environment, and a much less militarized America. And how about demanding politicians start to represent the people rather than America’s equivalent to lords and ladies? I’m looking at you, Lord Bezos and Lord Gates.

    We need a revival of the middle class before we become a feudal society. Or is it already too late?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. All the signs ( political, social, spiritual ) indicate it is too late for the U.S. to turn back or self correct. Once a country has reached a certain disproportionate level of wealth, the control of events is dictated by the wealthy. They now control the work place, the media, the military, the government, and soon the schools.

      As to how this society ends it’s like any prediction of the future, very difficult. It may be like Rome with a whimper or like France in 1789 with a bang.

      I am not giving up and will continue to write, demonstrate and support those who are decent and also trying, but I will try to not get emotionally invested in any of it. George Carlin was asked how he kept his humor after commenting on all the bad things in society. I do not have the exact quote but I believe it was something like ‘don’t take everything so seriously especially one’s self’. Here are some priceless George Carlin quotes:

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I think that, yes, it’s already too late. Americans aren’t like the citizens of France, who are willing to rise up en masse for a cause. Although with anti-protest laws increasingly appearing on the books, it might no longer even be possible to demonstrate in public in this country, despite First Amendment protections.

    As for marching on the Capitol, I agree that it should be happening, PROVIDED THAT the gatherings are peaceful, with no armed rowdies present; and provided that the reasons for demonstrating are truly in aid of the 90%. As you say, Bill, to demand affordable healthcare, environmental protections, and so on, but NOT to try to nullify elections or support the orange maniac who formerly occupied 1600.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. An interesting analysis, but isn’t this simply whistling past the graveyard? If there is a right wing coup and I (or my family) ends up in concentration camps, for instance, I can tell you right now the subtlety of who’s ultimately to blame will be lost on me.


    1. Of course, the point of my article is how to prevent a coup. You do that by helping people — by ministering to their needs, rather than kowtowing to the demands of the owner and donor class.


      1. Thanks for the reply. I understand, and agree wholeheartedly. Let me clarify my concerns: I wonder whether it is too late to have made this turn toward prevention; I would like to acknowledge these are not new concerns and would have left us in an entirely different place if they were taken up decades (or even years) ago. What is less clear to me is how to mitigate our current situation, where these policies have not been taken up. Should these generals be dismissed out of hand, or is there a developing situation here that warrants attention?

        That is my question. Because, if the generals warrant our attention, something else entirely might be called for, don’t you think? If the retired generals are simply part of a propaganda effort that is one thing, but if not I don’t see how this is the proper response. I mean, in the final moment, when the bullseyes painted on our backs have hardened into crusty shells, are we on the left simply incapable of defending ourselves?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. How about a requirement that a statement of the person’s past employment be shown whenever someone is speaking on TV. Glenn Greenwald had a recent essay (or was it a podcast?) telling how so many of the people the MSM chooses to interview are featured with no indication that they formerly worked for the FBI, CIA, DoD, etc.


      2. For a coup to succeed, the military would almost certainly have to play a critical role in it. Let us imagine a presidential loser who refused to concede. As long as the military stayed true to the oath, this “loser” could never prevail, no matter how stubborn or deluded.

        So, again, I’d fire any general (or any other member of the military) who was hyper-partisan or suspect in his or her commitment to the oath. Political loyalties must never come before the oath to the Constitution and the rule of law.

        One might begin by disciplining Michael Flynn, who’s known for his outlandish statements about locking up political opponents and expressing sympathy for violent actions that would clearly be illegal if put into action. Send a message.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Further food for thought concerning the present discussion of U.S. military coups past, present, and future: a video interview featuring Andrei Martyanov, a naturalized American citizen (and military analyst) of Russian extraction. See: “It’s Game Over for the West”. A little less than an hour and twenty minutes but well worth the time. I’ve sat through it twice already and will again . . .


  12. Hi Everyone: Here’s a comment from a reader who had trouble signing in to the system. I’d like to thank him for his patience and his persistence.

    Rejoinder to W.J. Astore’s “How to Prevent a Coup in Washington”

    Thomas F. Hilton, PhD.

    In W. J. Astore’s timely essay on how to prevent a coup in Washington, some useful points were made,
    however, I had to take umbrage with one of his key assertions: that to prevent future coup attempts all
    we need to do is “Admit to veterans that the wars they fought were based on, driven by, and
    perpetuated with lies.” That is arguably a very naïve notion. In my 32-year Navy career, I argue here
    that the best way to build a coup-resistant military is to build a coup-resistant citizenry.

    Drafted in 1968, I fought 2 tours in Vietnam. A few weeks before I had to report for duty, I participated
    in anti-war rallies. I knew going in that the GOT resolution was built on a hoax. I knew that the
    Vietnamese loathed the Chinese and boasted that they are the only SE Asian country never occupied by
    the Chinese. So, the whole domino theory too was MIC gaslight. By the time I arrived in Saigon, I spoke
    the language. The people there just viewed us as the next French colonialists. Loyalty to the puppet
    regime in Saigon was negligible at best. I knew from start to finish the war was colonial hegemony
    pretending to be saving capitalist democracy from evil communist dictators – like the dictators our CIA
    and military put in power all over the world – and still do. Thus, admitting the politicians lies was, for my
    generation, irrelevant to military service or much of anything else. We all knew they were lies.

    I viewed my role in war as trying to inflict some sanity into the chaos and to keep as many of my troops
    alive as possible. I succeed, at least, in the latter quest. Unlike the aftermath of Afghanistan, I never
    experienced any post-Vietnam comrade getting all PTSD over losing the war. We were just relieved that
    it was over. I knew several POWs. In fact, I bought my retirement house from the longest-serving POW
    in Nam when in his 90s he and his wife went into assisted living. Vietnam POWs always impressed me
    with how integrated they were as human beings – probably because their maturity enabled their survival
    over many years of brutal captivity

    This article, and most similar ones, seem to ignore that Foreverwar is being fought by mercenaries who
    also happen to be US citizens rather than citizens involuntarily conscripted at random to serve and
    support their country. Doubtless, far fewer people join the military today out of a "sense of duty" or that very absurd term "patriotism." It's a job. Enlisting will provide support for one's 18-year-old wife and baby. It will teach marketable job skills. Service is marketed as a ticket for many to the middle class, or an exit from a life in isolated farm country from among the very few options most naïve teens face at age 18.

    The odds of service members seeing combat today are 1 in 10 – pretty good, thus most are likely betting
    on not seeing combat. However, most service members today have enjoyed relatively coddled and
    comfy lives and fail to anticipate that even noncombatant military life is stressful and demands self-
    discipline that they must develop as they mature. That the all-volunteer military failure rate in basic
    training is high goes unremarked upon by journalists, as is the percentage of enlistees who fail to
    complete their 6-year enlistment contracts and are administratively separated – i.e., fired.

    Even during the days when we had a draft, only strong healthy males were "selected" for service. The rest of each generation grew up quite clueless about what their government does for them. They surely
    do not learn in classrooms about how their "real" government works. Our 8th-grade civics classes are still courses in heroic mythology. Students are left with grandiose notions of patriotism and a notions that our democratic system is populated by “Mr. Smith” legislators motivated not by their egos and
    warped need for power and dominance (as too often is the case today), but by the needs of the people
    who voted them into office.

    There is a way to build citizenship – ownership – of one's country. That is to participate in it. An effective way would be to establish a mandatory draft into any federal department (not just the military). It
    would include all 18-year-olds regardless of educational achievement, gender, sexual orientation, race,
    or physical disabilities. They would be internship/entry-level positions across all departments – even the
    post office. They would get intern pay to subsist just as in the military. Free healthcare, and housing
    would be provided when living at home was not an option.

    The advantage of an all-hands draft is that it would give teens a needed 2-year break to allow them to
    mature outside the cloistered educational system they have lived in since age 5. Instead, at age 20 or
    21, they would enter adult roles from government service jobs. That experience would better prepare
    the college bound for success because they will have grown up and developed better self-discipline
    during those 2 years as did many of us who were conscripted into military service. It might help high
    school dropouts elect to return and finish school. It surely would enable 20-year-olds to make far-better
    career choices having at least some experience of life in the world of work vs school.

    An all-service/all-hands draft would likely motivate some to stay and pursue federal careers. Stayers or
    leavers, most will have a better-informed awareness of how dependent they are on the many services
    and structures that the US government provides their lives. Stayers or leavers, most will know that their
    government only works best if they pitch in during the remainder of their lives. Those who stay military
    will have transcended the stress of a regimented life and will see their world more clearly. It will do the
    same for officers, because those electing to enter military academies will be two years more mature and
    experienced. Those who go off to college and return to service will do so out of out of duty, real
    patriotism, and a well-grounded view of "America the Real" vs the comic book "America the Great" based upon mythical superheroes.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ditto with my dad. He made a few references to being in the “3 C’s” and seemed to have enjoyed the experience.

        Although today, I’d advocate for such service being an end in and of itself.


  13. I still don’t believe the majority of the Capitol Hill rioters were gullible enough to have actually believed Donald Trump was cheated out of an election win. It is possible most of the rioters maintain(ed) that line as an excuse for their attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s (apparently quite) legitimate electoral win — or at least make it as unpleasant as possible, as witnessed on January 6.

    The rioters and Trump may have consciously or subconsciously believed he has to remain in office for some perceived greater good (e.g., to ‘save the nation’, etcetera), regardless of Trump’s democratically decided election loss. It may be a case of that potentially very dangerous philosophy: ‘the end justifies the means’. They consciously/subconsciously believe that they have to remain in office for some perceived greater good [chosen by God, to ‘save the nation’, etcetera]. The most frightful example of that philosophical justification is/was the pogrom, the primary implementers of which know they’re committing mass murder yet still genuinely perceive it all as part of an ultimately greater good.

    Long before the last election day, Trump was saying he may not respect a Biden win, as though preparing his voter base for his inevitable refusal to leave office, whatever the vote-count results may be. Some people say there was electoral fraud committed — in Trump’s FAVOR, in the 2020 and 2016 presidential elections. Their proof? They simply find it unfathomable that so many Americans had voted for him both times — and especially last November after experiencing his first-term mayhem. They have no real evidence to back up their claim, except for the fact that Hilary had ‘lost’ in 2016 and Donald garnered 70 million or so votes — results that were impossible unless electoral fraud was committed.

    Liked by 1 person

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