The Trump Coup and Why It Will Not Happen

The cover story for the November 2020 issue of the Atlantic, The Election That Could Break America, has been making the rounds all day on social media along with dire predictions of how The Great Experiment, our United States, is doomed. My Twitter feed is completely covered with this and political pundits from all sides are weighing in on how this will be pulled off by Trump and the Republicans and there is nothing that can be done to stop this. They are wrong.

Trump is certainly up to his usual tricks by refusing to commit to accepting the results of the upcoming election unless, of course, he wins. There is no doubt that the Republican political machinery is in high-gear figuring out ways to try and steal the election with tactics ranging from outright voter suppression to back room machinations in the various battleground states. All their work will be for naught, unfortunately for them.

In his Atlantic article, Barton Gellman outlines the various ways Trump and the Republicans will try to steal the election. I won’t dispute a single thing in the article; his research is impeccable and the different scenarios he paints are extremely plausible. From having the Boogaloo Bois and other right-wing groups show up at the polls to intimidate voters to throwing out thousands if not millions of mail-in ballots, as well as all the other nefarious tricks that Trump and his supporters could possible use to subvert the will of the American people, Gellman’s article is like a Mike Tyson barrage, the end result being Trump getting another four years or the US Government grinding to a standstill with no exit strategy other than capitulating to Trump and his demands. Make no mistake about it, a second Trump term is the most dangerous prospect this country faces. The fact that Trump is actively trying to subvert the election now should be taken as a signal that Trump knows how precarious his position is. A large voter turnout would, as Trump himself has said, “be the end of the Republican party”.

So what is the source of my optimism that Trump’s efforts to steal this election will fail? Simply this: Back in August, Politico and the New York Times reported that Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson reached out to Trump regarding the Corona virus situation and the effects it was having on the economy. The conversation grew increasingly confrontational with Trump accusing Adelson of not contributing enough and Republicans are now very concerned that Trump has alienated Adelson and that Adelson’s cash has stopped flowing. Adelson, who is the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, was concerned because the revenues from his casinos had taken a significant hit due to the Coronavirus and the subsequent closing of the casinos. Adelson’s bio can be found here. While Adelson’s support has centered around getting legislation passed to further the interests of Israel, this spirit of philanthropy went right out the window when he saw the coffers of his casino empire starting to diminish. Hence the call to Trump. Trump, unaware of the tens of millions of dollars that Adelson has given in support of Republicans became antagonistic and, in typical Trump fashion, blamed Adelson for not contributing more. Adelson reportedly hung up.

While this story received very little coverage in the press and the little it did receive was quickly forgotten, the importance of the exchange is not diminished in the least. Adelson is a multi-billionaire and the huge transfer of wealth that we have been constantly hearing about has resulted in many millionaires becoming billionaires and billionaires becoming multi-billionaires. Most of this income growth has come through Wall Street, primarily the stock market. The stock market has a very fragile psyche and nothing causes investors to turn tail and run more than political unrest. If Trump makes good on his threats to undermine the democratic process the resulting backlash will render this country ungovernable and the economic hit will be catastrophic. Trillions of dollars will vanish with little or no hope of recovering it. You can be sure that all this wealth and power is not going to let a conman and huckster like Trump destroy their fortunes and the lifestyles they live. They will turn on him like they turned on Bernie Madoff who is currently serving a 150-year sentence in Federal Prison for running a Ponzi scheme that bilked these very same super rich clients. There will be no coup, the election will proceed as all elections have and, hopefully, the Trump nightmare will be over along with the Republican party.

A country with no defense.

As the pandemic rages across America, social media is filled with memes and personal declarations about the ‘right’ to choose to wear a mask when out in public.  Earlier this week, President Trump ordered that hospital data regarding COVID19 will no longer be sent to the CDC.  Instead, it will be sent to the White House.  A little further digging showed that the data will actually go to two private companies both owned by friends of the President. There is a coordinated campaign by the White House to undermine the credibility of Dr. Anthony Fauci as his statements regarding COVID19 are “undermining the President’s message.” The White House views this pandemic as a PR battle, not as a battle against a pathogen that is killing Americans and threatening to overwhelm our healthcare system to the point where it may very well collapse completely from both the number of cases and the attrition of healthcare workers from the virus.

I could provide example after example of the dysfunction in our political leadership and in our citizens in failing to deal with this pandemic. What is clear is that the American response to COVID19 has been a failure by any objective standard one wishes to use. The end result is that we must resign ourselves to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans, the crippling of thousands who are lucky to survive a bout with the virus, and the damage to the economy that has yet to be fully grasped. We may very well feel the effects of this for generations.

The response by the foreign press and my friends who live outside of the United States is quite sobering.  The most common sentiment I see is pity and confusion.  How could the United States, the world leader in science, be crippled by this virus? How much needless suffering is being imposed on Americans?  Why does the United States refuse to follow the practices of all the other countries that have beaten this virus and now report zero cases at their hospitals for days and, in some cases, for weeks? There are attempts by many political pundits to understand why this has happened but there is one fact that they all agree on: The United States was wide open to both the introduction and spread of this virus.  It has neither the infrastructure nor the will to fight this virus. The infrastructure has been dismantled by the Trump administration and various media outlets have convinced a significant number of Americans that science is only one opinion among many. The eyes of our friends and allies are filled with tears as they watch us suffer through this.

There are other eyes watching the goings-on here that are not filled with tears. They are watching intently at our catastrophic failure to deal with a pathogen that has a five to ten percent mortality rate at best. They see the rest of the world walling us off; a US passport is essentially useless at this point.  These eyes are also in possession of military-grade pathogens that have been engineered to be incredibly effective at killing their hosts. We are talking about mortality rates of 50% or better. At this point, it is even questionable if we could identify the pathogen before it killed millions of Americans.   Were we to uncover intelligence that something like this was about to happen, our intelligence communities would not be believed by a significant number of Americans and politicians. Our once great laboratories have been shut down and defunded and hundreds of scientists who specialized in the field of pathogens have been given their walking papers. The scientific capability to identify and fight something like this is gone. Our pathetic response to COVID19 shows every bad actor in the world we are completely defenseless against a concerted biological attack against this country.

We live in a culture that has become detached from reality.  We have people here in America that believe the earth is flat and is only six thousand years old.  Some of these people hold positions of immense political power.  The Vice President comes to mind as does the Secretary of State. They have deluded themselves to the point where they have left this country completely defenseless. Let us hope that none of the existential threats that are out there decide to take advantage of this situation we find ourselves in.