It has served the Trump administration well to play off onto the public image of blundering stupidity while they quietly and with hardly a shred of real resistance pull off the greatest coup in history. So far “The Donald” has managed to dodge mounds of documented common-place corruption and scandal, multiple questionable and devious connections, the Mueller investigation, the Ukraine impeachment, and several attempts to investigate his taxes, his businesses, and his life. The almost constant character assassinations have not put a dent in the loyalty of his base or in his bravado as he moves about in the world. If Trump and his team are bumbling idiots then they are the luckiest fools to ever take chances with something as treacherous as treason against the United States and performing a totalitarian coup.
As Americans try to brace themselves for the tumult and uncertainty of an election that a good measure of the public do not trust as we struggle with a pandemic, economic dysfunction, environmental collapse, white-supremacist threats and actions of violence, racism, police brutality and on and on, the Trump team moves ever-forward with their diabolical plans. Most of these plans and actions, though committed in plain sight, get little attention as the media and the society in general focus on endless news about the same sensationalized stories and nervy commentary on Trump’s incompetence and crazy rhetoric.
The news of federal troops deployed or about to be deployed in cities across the U.S. has been published, but little notice has been taken of it by main-stream media. This kind of attention deficit is not at all new or unusual as we miss many of the substantial stories while we are being overwhelmed and tantalized with the stories of Trump’s ignorant, hateful, and harmful actions and statements, or other novelties, like pictures of Ivanka with her can of beans. It is in part, this deflection of the news of the underlying works of this administration and also the hesitancy of commentators to call a fascist coup a fascist coup, that has enabled and allowed this administration the room and the cover it needed to move. What we find now is that we, ourselves, have no room to move. We are all but trapped, and there is no clear or easy way out.
The groundwork for a police-state and subsequent coup has been laid-out in advance by the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations. With Clinton’s police and prisons, Bush’s patriot act and war on terror, Obama’s continuance and expansion of the Patriot Act, enhanced surveillance, and the removal of Habeas Corpus and the Posse Comitatus under the NDAA, which he signed in 2011. These two ancient laws that are the foundation of modern constitutional law, having been weakened or removed from the security and rights of US citizens, now allow the federal government to use US troops in the arrest and indefinite detention and trial in military courts of any US citizen. This, along with the corruption of the election system and electoral process– from purges of registration rolls to limiting polling places and other forms of suppression and tampering– brings us to the end of our constitutional republic.
The Trump administration, by all appearances, is ready to play the last remaining cards.
The scripts for totalitarian dictatorship has been written and handed down through the decades, and Trump, with his cabal of traitors, has studied them well. We’ve seen Trump sidling-up along with many of today’s masters of oppression and control: Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Rodrigo Duterte and Jair Bolsonaro, to name a few. We’ve seen the classic use of tactics such as over-loading the system with misinformation, daily instances of challenges to the political and social status, stochastic and blatant calls to violence, and the cultivation of a violent right-wing from individuals, groups, law enforcement, private security forces and the US military.Trump has actively engaged in divisive tactics, name-calling, the targeting of individuals, organizations, liberals in general, Democrats, anarchists, those who stand against fascism, and the entire nation and any person whenever it or they dare to disagree with him.
Current events such as the pandemic and civil unrest spurred on by police brutality work well for Trump, as do the protests against that brutality, and the confusion and fighting over the proper response to the Covid-19 virus. Both the pandemic and the civil unrest are played well by Trump who revels in the chaos and confusion. Trump appears to not be the slightest bit concerned with the dying brought on by the virus, and I imagine that he truly is not concerned with the dead. Trump, it seems, only has the capacity of caring for a small number of things that to him are extremely important– staying in power, gaining wealth, and controlling the nation with a stern and forceful hand.
Trump is not concerned with the presidency as we know it; he has gone beyond that. A presidency with its limits on stature, power and years in office does not interest or appeal to Trump. Trump wants much more than a simple and limited four or eight year as president. Trump is making way for the greatest gamble. He is betting everything on this hand. To succeed is virtually unlimited wealth and power, to fail is to risk humiliation, prison, bankruptcy, or worse. Trump, from all appearances, is now ready to make his final push. Trump knows that he cannot win the election, so he is preparing to sabotage the election. This is where his last 3 ½ years have been spent, on cueing-up for his final coup.
Trump’s reaction to the covid-19 pandemic is not just the result of ignorance and a reaction to shrinking poll numbers. The out-of-control numbers of cases plays well into a man’s response when that man has no intention of allowing an election to end his career. The fear, the division and the license for establishing a totalitarian government as a response to crisis, all work together for a dictator wannabe who needs a frightened, confused and exhausted public, who have taken on a feeling of powerlessness and defeat. The pandemic also, of course, opens the door for who- knows-what kind of executive emergency acts that restrict freedom and movement. It will be made hard, if not impossible, to vote when after a steady increase in soaring numbers of Covid cases, no one is allowed out in large crowds and long lines. The postal service being under attack at this time will, once brought to a place of dysfunction, rob the people of any kind of mail-in option.
The effect of all this political and social tyranny will likely be to arouse the passions of the public, rightly so, and will, as it already has, bring the mass of people either into the streets or into a cowering position. We know from past experience that once mobs are gathered in the street, most anything can happen, and with the evil that exists in this administration, it takes little effort of imagination to see the potential for disaster generated by planted provocateurs and unplanned but encouraged counter-protestors who have already made their appearance, locked and loaded, showing us the hand they will play. This protest, as it continues, once turned to violence and riot then becomes Trump’s Reichstag moment and his goons are already in place and in practice for dealing with those, as Trump calls them, anarchists, rioters, and looters.
I thought long and hard about whether to write this piece or to let it go. I do not wish to merely repeat the words and stories of other writers. However, in an unusual move by some media, the news of Trump’s unmarked gestapo-like army of secret soldiers has gained quite a bit more ground than what a story of this nature often does. The big mainstream news outlets still have said little on the subject of these secret soldiers and their round-ups, but the left-leaning and independent sources have been grabbing at the headlines and echoing each other with some vigor. I have, however, not seen anyone making the connection between these events and putting forth a forecast of the likely consequences of Trump’s last final push towards the dictatorship he so obviously desires. For Trump, this is the greatest gamble and one he and his minions have been preparing themselves for since the beginning of his presidency.