At the beginning of November, at the beginning of the bullshit complaints and the “stop the steal” shouts, I began to wonder: is this a coup? Donald Trump’s fight to overthrow the election may have been sloppy and bold and utterly selfish, but why should we think that an American-style coup – or self-coup – would be anything but? Why shouldn’t it start as a joke and end in disaster? And, in any case, coups are not as exotic as we might want to believe. Even from the most basic knowledge of the history of my home state, North Carolina, I knew that coups had taken place here that were purposely removed from historical records

So I have asked the question of a multitude of thoughtful historians, scholars and writers, as well as some people who have launched a few coups of their own (like Henry Kissinger and Oliver North): Did Trump’s challenge put the election result in question? represent a coup? The answers were different, you can read them all here

When insurgents came to Capitol Hill this morning, I started emailing everyone again asking the same question. Is this a coup? As soon as I get responses, I’ll post them below

Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times bureau chief and author of Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, who said in November it was not a coup yet but we might see “preparations for one”

My friends in other countries have repeatedly assured me that there can never be a coup in the United States because there is no American embassy here

Naunihal Singh, author of Seizing Power: The Strategic Logic of Military Coups, who posted (which he also tweeted):

Some thoughts on what we see, why it’s not a coup, what a bad thing it is, and what could make it an attempted coup

First, yes, we saw an effort by Trump to stay in power by various means and yes, what we saw today were Trump supporters using violence to disrupt a democratic transition, but think about what we didn’t see – he didn’t use any of the security forces, just rabble

In the appeal to the GA Sec of State, he tried to convince and persuade the other man to find votes, but he did not use state power to force him to Today we see citizens who support Trump, Engage in illegal activities to keep him in power, but not state security forces

Why am I hung up on this distinction? Because (a) he acts as the head of a movement rather than the head of state, and (b) those moves are still very weak and easy to defeat The GA call leaked The police can handle this rabble A coup would be different

I mean, hell, the police have spread far larger groups of protesters across America. They have used a lot more force against peaceful protesters, or people who are not criminals, and they have enough strength to deal with this crowd Like the National Guard

Previous reports that the Department of Defense had turned down a request for assistance worried me not because DC needs the National Guard to deal with these people, but because we don’t want the military to do anything to silence this mob supports

Indeed, this is a way to see a coup / autogolpe if there were mass protests in support of Trump (armed or unarmed) and the military refused to stop the protesters when they took power and as many see it Revolutions from the Arab Spring worked like this

But there won’t be a Trump Spring or Trump Revolution with an accompanying coup where the uniformed military will determine who will be in power by refusing to stop mass action.We are far from it, and there are many tools to deal with the current scenario

The police can deal with this small group of violent people, they can deal with their ringleaders, too, and we can react politically (and legally) to punish those responsible for the situation, even when there is no legal penalty should give it a social

We should focus on the threat, the violent actors, their organizers, their moral supporters, their inspiration and deal with each individual accordingly

What is it? It looks like an uproar to me, even though I’m not a lawyer. Treat it as such

The gist of it is that it is not a coup because he is not using the authority of the state, but rather his position as leader of a movement, the latter is a much weaker position to try to stay in / seize power The different diagnosis suggests a different method of resolving the problem

It’s a coup attempt to forget all the fancy words like an autogolpe A woman died, it was a riot to disrupt the democratic process These are our modern day secessionists and Confederates You must feel the full weight of the state’s penal arm!

Laura Seay, a political scientist who studied the Democratic Republic of the Congo and believed it wasn’t “yet” a coup in November:

I don’t think this is an attempted coup, both because neither the military nor any other organized armed forces are involved, and because the individuals involved do not appear to be trying to take control of the government or other institutions (i.e. transport infrastructure or Telecommunications systems) All they have tried (and achieved) is to keep a branch of it from working for an afternoon.This is a serious sign of democratic decline, it is an insurrection and it is turmoil, but it does not fit the technical definition a coup

Chris Mullin, the Labor politician and journalist who wrote the novel A Very British Coup, thought Trump could try if he “gets away with it, but US institutions seem robust enough to allow it prevent “:

A coup attempt by Trump maybe, but as I said, U.S. institutions are sufficient to resist the judges, military, police, most senators and members of Congress all ultimately sided with the Constitution on Am In the end, the rule of law will prevail.That doesn’t mean the scenes at the Capitol aren’t really shocking Trump and those who continue to pretend the election has been rigged have played a very dangerous game

Dr Josef Woldense, Professor of African Studies and African American Studies, who studies elite politics and authoritarian regimes:

I’ll stick with my previous comments Nothing that has happened since has affected me differently. In fact, it only cemented my position on Trump and his supporters

Just as a warning, my answer is not a simple one. This is not because I am trying to evade your question, but rather because the question has multiple problems

Is “that” a coup? Before discussing the semantics of using the term coup, let me start with what I consider to be the core issue. Is what we see of Trump tantamount to a basketball coach requiring referees to repeat a potentially flawed call against their player? Or a tennis player denying an out of bounds call asking the referee to reconsider the decision? In short, are current events just a harmless feature of the campaign?


The answer is no. What Trump is denying is not whether the votes were counted correctly, instead it is about the idea that he will ever lose. Starting with Hilary Clinton, Trump made his adage clear: if I win, it is despite yours Fraud and if I lose it’s because you cheated In this world there is simply no way an opponent will beat Trump It will be erased from the world Questioning the correctness of the ballot is just an exercise in order to make this world a reality

So what is the value in using the word coup? Well, it signals that what we are currently witnessing is a deliberate attempt by regime insiders to raise state resources to depose the incoming ruler, the specific status resource being invoked – eg, US AG, courts, election commissioner, state officials etc- is a side effect of the larger project to create the world Trump is in power no matter what

If your goal is to set off the alarm of a possible hostile takeover within the regime, use the word coup (or self-coup) I would caution you not to rely on scientific research, as the word coup will then take on a more precise meaning that is likely to contradict what is happening here. However, more than the term itself, it is crucial to have the common thread that To highlight Trump’s dictum and the means by which he and his allies are trying to make it a reality

Henri Barkey, Senior Fellow on Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said in November that “this is not a coup d’état after witnessing a number of coups and accusing him of organizing one”:

It’s still not a coup attempt To call it a coup, the events, including the violence, would have had a chance of success.We know they had no chance of snowballing in Hell, at best we can call it an attempted insurrection by an unruly and leaderless mob.Even Trump knows there is no chance of success gave All he tried was to set the stage for 2024, but in my opinion, he destroyed that stage

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What is a coup?

World news – CA – * Now * is it a coup?

Source: https://www.motherjones.com/2020-elections/2021/01/now-is-it-a-coup/