Trump’s Coup Attempts Probably Won’t Work, but Notes Are Being Taken.
With election 2020 finally behind us and Joe Biden now the President-Elect, it’s safe to say that the current occupant of the White House handled the loss of the election as many of us have expected he would since before he even took power. Still refusing to concede, and outright denying any access or cooperation to the Biden transition team now forced to go about the process alone, Donald Trump — predictably — appears to be muddying the waters as much as he possibly can. In fact, the waters have been muddied to such an extent that many are sounding the alarms of a coup attempt, escalating the warnings after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to concede that Trump had lost the election.
At this point, with it now being widely reported that Trump does plan on running in 2024, it feels at least a little bit safer to assume that he plans on leaving office. But of course, Donald Trump is going to bend the American institutions to the breaking point in his last ditch efforts to cling to power anyways, with his campaign putting pressure on Republican legislators in critical states to appoint a brand new slate of pro-Trump electors in an effort to steal the electoral college vote. The efforts — at least at this point — do not seem to be working for President Trump, but when considering the broader context of the political climate and the precedent that these efforts set, that doesn’t really make them any less dangerous.
Donald Trump in all likelihood might just be using these attempts as a means to delay the inevitable for as long as possible, rake in money from his rabid base in order to pay off his campaign debts, and possibly secure a deal for his business and his family to avoid any possible charges, but the Right is certainly taking notes of his tactics.
While we watch everything unfold over the coming weeks, I can’t help wondering at what point are we as a nation going to accept that while it is possible for a fascist to be voted out, that doesn’t mean fascism itself has gone with it?
GOP legislators in states like Pennsylvania may not be willing to bend to Donald Trump’s will this time around, but what happens if the Right mobilizes to primary everyone who dared stand in the way? The GOP leaders like Mitch McConnell might just be flirting with Donald Trump’s losing cause in order to ensure he doesn’t screw their chances in the Georgia runoff, but what happens when a more competent version of Trump rises among their ranks and they’ve now been shown the blueprint to secure his or her election no matter what? Donald Trump might not have the intelligence or the overall willpower to do more than bend what’s left of American democracy to the breaking point, but he’s certainly laying the groundwork for someone more capable to come along who, like him, ultimately does not care if they destroy whatever stands in their way. Someone who would be more than willing to take it one step further.
As I have said before, the feeling of relief that came with the knowledge of Donald Trump being voted out was incredibly short lived, and the actions that have taken place since the election was called have only heightened my anxieties about what is to come in 2022, let alone 2024. The sooner we’re honest with ourselves and accept that this is only the beginning, the better. I genuinely wish I could find more joy in the downfall of such a sociopathic, incapable tyrant. But the fact that every conceivable prompt to his rise is still there — coupled with a clear blueprint to power no matter the costs laid out for someone else to follow, and opposition leadership just as weak as it was before — means the joy is certainly harder to find.