“When we beat Orange Hitler in 2020, he won’t leave, and we will have to drag him out of the White House!”
For years, ignoring this unhinged and utterly unsubstantiated rubbish seemed sensible and easy. So many other hysterias had come and gone after a week of anguished hand-wringing, never to be heard again. (Remember “Trump is starting a nuclear war with North Korea, go hide in your bathtub”?)
But perhaps conservatives have been ignoring the writing on the wall.
Scholar Michael Anton (author of the 2016 mega-viral article “The Flight-93 Election“) takes a darker view of the ‘Trump Won’t Leave!’ hysteria. In his recent article “The Coming Coup?“, Anton sees the outlines of a coordinated effort to ensure that Trump leaves the White house no matter what the voters say, with the military acting as bouncer:
It started with the military brass quietly indicating that the troops should not follow a presidential order. They were bolstered by many former generals—including President Trump’s own first Secretary of Defense—who stated openly what the brass would only hint at. Then, as nationwide riots really got rolling in early June, the sitting Secretary of Defense himself all but publicly told the president not to invoke the Insurrection Act. His implicit message was: “Mr. President, don’t tell us to do that, because we won’t, and you know what happens after that.”
All this enthused Joe Biden, who threw subtlety to the winds … [Biden] has not once, not twice, but thrice confidently asserted that the military will “escort [Trump] from the White House with great dispatch” should the president refuse to leave. Another former Vice President, Al Gore, publicly agreed.
Are Democrats accustoming the public to the idea of a coup by high-level military commanders, in the guise of preserving presidential succession? To support his argument, Anton points to the Democrats’ infamous “war games” meeting:
Over the summer a story was deliberately leaked to the press of a meeting at which 100 Democratic grandees, anti-Trump former Republicans, and other ruling class apparatchiks got together (on George Soros’s dime) to “game out” various outcomes of the 2020 election. One such outcome was a clear Trump win. In that eventuality, former Bill Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, playing Biden, refused to concede, pressured states that Trump won to send Democrats to the formal Electoral College vote, and trusted that the military would take care of the rest.
Knowing the military as I do, I am skeptical of Anton’s concerns as he frames them. Pro-Biden elite commanders who might dream of staging a coup risk provoking a schism in the armed services with an order to forcibly remove President Trump.
Should even a fraction of officers and/or enlisted personnel declare, “This is not a lawful order and we will not comply,” the military could fall to arresting one another, or descend into a standoff among personnel (including the Secret Service).
Either way, chaos would erupt from which the military would never fully recover. Democrats as a group may have no compunction about undermining the military to rid themselves of President Trump; but military personnel at every level will shy from institutional suicide–even the ones who dislike the president.
Anton may be a bit far out with his concerns over a military coup to seize power, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t raised a larger issue worthy of consideration. What will be the disposition of raw power, should Democrats muddy the election with enough shenanigans to shift the decision from voters to a group of elites (say the Supreme Court)?
What can ordinary Americans do about it?
Write their congressperson?
Break dishware and kick their dog?
In this scenario, the myth of the United States as a “democracy” falls apart, and we move from the world of James Madison to Machiavelli. Power, not principles and philosophy, take center stage. The Constitution stipulates that *some* small group of elites will choose between Biden and Trump in a contested election. At that point, the American people will lose all power of determination–unless they fall to riot, mob intimidation, and civil unrest, that is.
And as we have seen in liberal-controlled cities across America lately, the power of mass intimidation is real, and it sways some elites–including some nominal conservatives.
To paint just one example: How will the justices of the Supreme Court react–for all their supposed principles and impartiality–when 25,000 angry liberal protesters flood DC’s streets, set fires, attack passersby, and surround the justices’ homes screaming “Dump Trump!” and “No justice no peace!”?
Does anyone believe the court’s deliberations over whom to anoint the next president will go *unaffected* by the specter of violence to their own persons, their homes, or to the cities where they live? Look at the way governors and mayors in blue states and cities have wilted in the face of social-justice guilt trips and mass destruction.
Here, conservatives stand at a notable disadvantage. Do you recall the last time thousands of conservatives amassed to burn city blocks, loot stores, and murder strangers in the street to get their way on an issue of national politics? Conservatives have invested their energies in (1) think-tank discussions about traditional principles which *they* find compelling (but progressives find wholly unpersuasive); and (2) personal firearms.
Guns, God, and small government have their place. When the rubber meets the road, however, there is no real group power without numbers, organization, and planning. Thousands of firearms owners spread across a city without communication and organization can’t do much except protect their own homes.
Sometimes, they can’t even do that–at least not without life-destroying legal blowback from powerful leftist DAs out to make examples and extract revenge (excuse me: “historic justice”).
Democrats, in contrast, have been steadily organizing and lining up sources of real power–including unprincipled and extra-legal sources of power.
The report from the Democrats’ war-games exercise mentioned above argues that “technocratic solutions, courts, and reliance on elites observing norms are not the answer here.” The report predicts the aftermath of a contested election will be “a street fight, not a legal battle.”
Let that sink in for a minute.
When it comes to mass intimidation–either to sway elites or push back against leftist violence–conservatives are crippled. Should a “street fight” break out in November, conservatives won’t stand a chance:
- Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter will shut down attempts at conservative organizing as soon as they start, citing the usual Silicon Valley pretexts (“racisms,” “inciting violence,” “because we feel like it,” etc.)
- In big cities, Democrat mayors will suddenly change their minds on the sanctity of First-Amendment protest rights. They will direct police to come down on conservative demonstrators like a ton of bricks, so that demonstrations do not influence elite decisionmakers.
- The mainstream media will either (1) ignore conservative demonstrations–so that the public doesn’t know they are occurring–or (2) wage a disinformation campaign to paint them as white-supremacist and fringe “militia” gatherings, to discourage “principled conservatives” from joining in, a la Charlottesville.
In a contested election, conservative voters will find themselves unable to coordinate and react, because no one will know who’s doing what. They will have to hope the elites stand up to the liberal mob and choose their man. And if they don’t? As George S. Bardmesser notes:
With Biden and Harris in the White House, the Left will resume and accelerate Barack Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of the country. Like a pack of starving hyenas feasting on a wildebeest carcass, the Left will move quickly to consolidate power—very quickly.
Conservatives sometimes taunt leftists with Ben Shapiro’s rather autistic and T-shirt-ready one-liner: “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”
Nicolo Machiavelli might have introduced Shapiro to the real world with a far more trenchant observation: “Power doesn’t care about your principles OR your facts.”
When someone or some group achieves power, they can *force* you to care about their feelings and make you eat your “facts” without ketchup while they watch and enjoy.
Just ask any conservative student on the Berkeley campus–if you can get one to come out of hiding.