Anne Applebaum In political science, the term coup refers to the illegitimate overthrow of a sitting government—usually through violence or the threat of violence. The technical term for attempting to stay in power illegitimately—such as after losing an election—is self-coup or autocoup, sometimes autogolpe.
Much debate has ensued about what exactly to call whatever Trump is attempting right now, and about how worried we should be. The incoherence and incompetence of the attempt do not change its nature, however, nor do those traits allow us to l it or ignore it until it finally fails on of that incompetence.
The Inuit have many words for snow —because their experience demands that kind of exactness. The claim had been disputed, but the latest research affirms it. In Turkish, we do have many different words for different types of coupsbecause our experience similarly demands it. For example, coups that are attempted through threatening letters from the military are called memorandum coups.
We know the difference between military coups that start from the top and follow the military chain of command and those that do not. The term autogolpe comes from the Spanish partly because there have been so many such attempts in Latin America. The U. This is a particularly dangerous combination, and makes it much more than just typical Trumpian bluster or norm shattering.
But in English, only one widely understood word captures what Donald Trump is trying to do, even though his acts do not meet its technical definition. Trump is attempting to stage some kind of coup, one that is embedded in a broader and ongoing power grab. That scene itself was unsettling. Expose the mzn voter wajt in Georgia. In a recent survey, an alarming Republicans in the House and the Senate—88 percent—refused to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the presidency.
Another two insisted Trump won. Senate seats in Georgia— an instrumental concern about continuing to exercise power, rather than a substantive worry about the attempted election theft itself. It should be noted that there have been conservative voices who have responded with the appropriate furybut that few are elected officials or leaders of the GOP. After Sterling spoke in Georgia, a local TV station asked the two Republican senators running seekiing election in the January runoff for comment.
But instead of offering straightforward denunciations, both issued perfunctory condemnations and mqn used the opportunity to continue to fan doubts about the process. How ridiculous to even suggest otherwise. Every day adds more. The president has repeatedly and baselessly claimed that the election was stolen from him, and continues to do so daily. He is, effectively, charging that election officers seekinng the country are involved in a dangerous conspiracy and that the incoming president is the leader of this illegal attempt.
The president, who has the power to appoint judges for lifetime appointments, and who has appointed nearly a third of federal judges on the crucial circuit-court level in the United States—more than any other president in recent history at this point in their presidency—has asked the courts to throw out valid votes wholesale, especially in cities with minority voters. And hopefully Amy Coney Barrett will come through. Georgia conducted two thorough recounts of the votes and found that the margin by which Trump lost the election holds.
The president personally called the two Republican canvassers in Wayne County, Michigan, and then both ed affidavits attempting to rescind their certification of the vote in that state. They had earlier tried to block certification of votes from Detroit, providing a glimpse of what could happen if a more competent president tried to steal an election. Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser—a powerful post—who was just pardoned by Trump, has amplified calls for the president to suspend the Constitution and hold another election an exercise presumably to be repeated until he wins.
The president summarily fired Christopher Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the Department of Homeland Security, because he vouched that the election was not stolen.
Is Trump Trying to Stage a Coup? - The Atlantic
The president also fired the chief of the Pentagon, along with other top officials. InDemocrats won an even larger share of the vote — And so, this year, the Democrats managed a meager increase in representation—five representatives out of 13—despite again receiving 48 percent of the vote. David Frum: The raw desperation of the Republican Party Who draws these grossly wqnt maps, which are typical of others across the country?
The state legislatures, which themselves are often elected using maps that reflect unrepresentative gerrymandering. In North Carolina infor example, the Republicans won a wxnt supermajority in the state House of Representatives—obtaining more than two thirds of the seats— despite winning just 52 percent of the vote. Statewide races cannot be similarly gerrymandered, though, and that year, North Carolina voters elected a Democratic governor and attorney general.
In response, the lame-duck legislature rushed to take away key powers from those offices.
The premier online destination for conscious women and men\ucovering conscious fashion, beauty, food, wellness, travel and lifestyle.
They succeeded. In Wisconsin inRepublicans won a qant supermajority in the state legislature with a minority of the votes in the state. That same year, Republican Governor Scott Walker lost his bid for reelection, and Republican candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general were also defeated—again, statewide offices resist gerrymandering. After the loss, the Wisconsin state legislature followed the same playbook as the GOP in North Carolina, rushing, in a lame-duck session, to take away crucial powers ly exercised by Walker.
The lawsuits filed by Democrats were rejected by the Republican-dominated state supreme court. When voters try to contest gerrymanders or power grabs, many of the cases end up before the U. Supreme Court, where lifetime appointments are made by the president but approved by the Senate. The Senate is so lopsided right now that 26 states containing just 17 percent of the U.
How to Date in Your 70s
Today, the United States has a House filled with gerrymandered districts, a Senate dramatically tilted toward rural states, some state legislatures controlled by electoral minorities or slim majorities who get to exercise power as if they were overwhelming, and a Supreme Court with three justices appointed by a president who lost the popular vote.
Is it any wonder that Trump thinks he can defy the of the election and cling to power despite losing an election? Or that his party does not stand up for the will of voters? Napoleon III reigned as emperor untilremaking France in the process. Read: How Trump could attempt a coup What starts as farce may end as tragedy, a lesson that pundits should already maj learned from their sneering dismissal of Trump when he yiu announced his presidential candidacy.
If things proceed in their ordinary course, the Electoral College ii soon vote, and then Seeming will take office. But ignoring a near catastrophe that was averted by the buffoonish, half-hearted efforts of its would-be perpetrator invites a real catastrophe brought on by someone more competent and ambitious. President Trump had already established a playbook for contesting elections in by casting doubt seeing the election process before he won, and insisting that he only lost the popular vote due to fraud.
And worse, much worse, the playbook is being implicitly endorsed by the silence of some leading Republicans, and vocally endorsed by others, even as minority rule becomes increasingly entrenched in the American electoral system. Our institutions do not operate via magic. They do not gain their power from names, buildings, desks, or even rules.
Institutions rely on people collectively agreeing to act in a certain way. Human laws do not simply exert their power like the inexorable pull of gravity. Once people decide that the rules are different, the rules are different. The next attempt to steal an election may involve a closer election and smarter lawsuits.
Make A Connection With These 9 Mindful Dating Apps
Imagine the same playbook executed with better decorum, a president exerting pressure that is less crass and issuing tweets that are more polite. If most Republican officials are failing to police this ham-handed attempt at a power grab, how many would resist a smoother, less grossly embarrassing wqnt Adding to the crisis is that many of the 74 million people who voted for Trump now believe that the election was outright stolen.
They believe that they were robbed of the right to vote. Meanwhile, millions of people around the country are repeatedly experiencing that being a majority is not enough to win elections, or even if one does win, not always enough to be able to govern.
When Biden takes the presidential oath in January, many will write articles scolding those who expressed concern about a coup as worrywarts, or as people misusing terminology. Alarmism is essential when conditions make it appropriate. Kenneth Owen: Minority rule cannot last in America The boy who cried wolf is a familiar qant. Fortune favors the prepared; catastrophe awaits those who confuse luck with strength.
Ottawa police seeking man who carved hate graffiti on Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
In Turkey, the leader of the coup, the one that my mom had been warned about, was Kenan Evren. But the coup Evren led many years later was anything youu farcical: Hundreds of thousands were detained, and more than were tortured to death. A new, restrictive constitution was enacted, under repressive conditions. Our focus should not be a debate about the proper terminology. It is over three decades, not two.