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Will Trump attempt a coup?

Trump politics USA coup military 2020 election

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8 replies to this topic

#1
StanleyAlexander

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Trump has always shown a willingness to maintain dangerous lies in the service of a narrative that suits him. This has been a theme of his presidency, and has reached a new low since he lost the election. Assuming none of his legal challenges pan out (likely), and no recounts overturn any results (extremely likely), he will be faced with the prospect of actually admitting his loss and/or giving up power. There are exactly 4 possibilities here:

  1. Trump concedes and gives up power
  2. Trump does not concede, but gives up power
  3. Trump concedes but does not give up power
  4. Trump does not concede and does not give up power

I don't see #1 happening. He will have to admit that he lost fair & square, which would take the wind out of all his supporters' sails, effectively slashing his TV ratings for the foreseeable future. Admitting loss is way off the Trump brand, and would in this case require some kind of respect for democracy and the country and other things that aren't him.

 

I think #2 is much more likely than #1. If he can find a way to maintain the narrative that the election was stolen from him while tacitly agreeing to be dragged kicking and screaming from the White House, he'll at least maintain (not to mention inflame) his base, keeping his ratings intact. And as long as he can capitalize on the fire he's got going, why would he want the trouble of running ruining the country for another term anyway?

 

#3 is more Putin than Trump. And I'm not sure how it would work anyway.

 

#4 is obviously the scary one. If we rule out #1 and #3 and assume no concession is coming, Trump still has at his fingertips the resources of his office--a stronger position than Biden's--all the way up to January 20. If he continues to stonewall Biden's transition team the whole thing could turn into a sick game of political chicken, which of course can only avoid violence if someone swerves.

 

If push comes to shove and Trump actually does refuse to relinquish power, it will have to be taken from him. And I'm worried that this is the reason we're hearing about him shoring up the military brass with loyalists. All these articles talk about these personnel changes in terms of their medium-term foreign policy implications, and some mention the immediate national security implications, but more in a someone-will-get-us-while-we're-playing-musical-chairs kind of way than in a how-much-military-support-do-you-need-for-a-coup kind of way. Meanwhile one article puts that "These are dictator moves" quote right there in the headline, as if they're trying to shout without saying.

 

I'm being paranoid and everything's gonna be fine, right?


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#2
Outlook

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#3
starspawn0

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I think #2 is much more likely than #1. If he can find a way to maintain the narrative that the election was stolen from him while tacitly agreeing to be dragged kicking and screaming from the White House, he'll at least maintain (not to mention inflame) his base, keeping his ratings intact. And as long as he can capitalize on the fire he's got going, why would he want the trouble of running ruining the country for another term anyway?


Yep, that's what's going to happen.

And he might try to leave the country, once out of office; but it's more likely he'll stay, thinking he can BS his way out of the lawsuits and criminal investigations.

He has floated the idea that he has plans to create a media company to compete with Fox News, after they didn't say what he wanted to hear. I doubt he will bother, as it's going to be expensive, and he doesn't have the $$$.

The other thing he floated was setting up a PAC (=Political Action Committee). Presumably this is to keep Republicans fearful and under his control. Now that is something I could see him doing, and using his influence to pull in donations and getting his supporters to vote for whomever he says has the Trump stamp of approval. This would give him the opportunity to be kind-of a shadow president, exerting a lot of leverage -- more leverage than the Koch Brothers ever did -- over the bills that get passed. And I could see the predictable CNN crew getting offended by his power-play, and giving him just what he wants, more attention.



#4
funkervogt

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I think #2 is likeliest. 

 

#1 is also still possible. 



#5
TranscendingGod

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#6
Futurist

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I think #2 is likeliest. 

 

#1 is also still possible. 

Yep, this. After all, Trump might still be hoping for a 2024 comeback AND he likely doesn't want to share Viktor Yanukovych's fate.



#7
Maximus

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You're not paranoid, this topic has been on my mind for the past few months, and at different points I've been more or less certain Trump would seize power when he lost the election and turn the US into a dictatorship. I think that's exactly what we're seeing now; it's not an attempt to save face in front of his diehard supporters, Trump and his team are actually trying to subvert the election. If he could have ordered the election results anulled by executive order, he would have done it.

 

However, I'm less certain he will succeed now because we see the system appears to be robust enough to withstand his assault on democracy. The lower courts are tossing out his lawsuits left and right, US election officials from the DHS have denounced Trump's claims of fraud as false, and even Republican governors, mayors, and election officials are standing up for democracy.

 

However, I won't be convinced we're out of the woods of a Trump dictatorship until I hear McConnell and Graham tell Trump he lost. Right now he still has every powerful Republican in the House either supporting or not denying his claims of fraud, and most important of all, he has at least three Supreme Court judges who are guaranteed to throw democracy in the trash can if they get a chance to (Kavanaugh, Barrett, and Roberts). They were all involved in halting the recount in Florida in 2000. So just pray the Supreme Court doesn't get to decide if Pennsylvania should be allowed to certify its election results (an active case in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court right now on behalf of Trump), because they will throw those votes out first chance they get.

 

If the coup fails, scenario #2 is what's going to happen. Trump will leave without conceding, and start an alternative news media outlet, much farther to the right than Fox. He will use that platform to stoke his political base for a return in 2024. In the meantime, he will attempt to subvert the new Biden administration at every step, and tens of millions of Americans will not recognize Biden as the legitimate president. 

 

The only silver lining in this is that if Trump tries to flee to Russia, we could see the first ever US ex-president on trial for treason. The national security of the US would be in grave danger if an ex-president were to spill their guts to Russia; I'm sure the US government would not allow that to happen.



#8
R8Z

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What about option 5?

5. Trump wins in court, but Democrats do not accept his victory.

 

I am not sure which of the options would the most dangerous to the US or the world but, to be fair, a US collapse/civil war might give a shakedown the world is in dare need of. Maybe we start thinking about ditching FIAT currencies for global trade for the path forward.



#9
kjaggard

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Cadet Bone Spurs, Bunker Boy, coup? Nah, He's all in if the bombs and molotov cocktails rain on other countries grounds, but he is scared of being in the general area of conflict that could effect him.


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