More Popular Than Democracy: An American Coup D’état
If you woke up tomorrow morning to find that the President of the United States had been arrested, Congress had been disbanded, and you now lived under the rule of a military dictatorship, how would you feel? Elated? Frightened? Angry? Indifferent? Would you rise up and fight? According to a recent poll by YouGov, 29% of Americans could imagine supporting the U.S. military taking over the powers of federal government. That number increased to 43% when they were asked this in the context of the military doing so if “the federal government began to violate the Constitution,” a condition which arguably has existed since the ratification of the document.
Consider this against the election turnout in 2012. Only 57.5% of eligible voters even showed up to vote, and only 51.1% of them voted for Obama. Add to this that many voters feel they are simply voting for the lesser of two evils, and an American coup d’état, might well be more popular than democracy itself.
If you are like me and consider the current state of affairs to be wholly intolerable, this might come as good news to you. Unless you are also like me in the sense that you actually thought it through for a moment. The people in this poll are not advocating that the State be abolished or even cease to interfere in their business. They are not even advocating that the constitution be obeyed, as there is no provision of the constitution where the military can overthrow the civilian authorities. They are simply saying they prefer a government run by force without the illusion of choice provided by elections.
One might also keep in mind the poll makes no mention of what policy the military might implement. The laws may stay the same, or be completely re-written. The foreign entanglements might end, or we might find ourselves engaged in global thermonuclear warfare. All the poll reflects is who those surveyed thought put the best interests of the country ahead of their own best interests. 70% said they thought military officers put the country first, while only 12% said the same of their congressman, and only 17% felt that way about their state politicians. Local politicians had slightly more faith, at 22%.
The lack of faith in politicians might be refreshing, but the blind faith in military should concern sane people. Only 28% of those surveyed said the military should follow misguided orders from civilian authorities, while 46% thought military personnel should follow misguided orders from their military superiors. Change misguided to unconstitutional, and those numbers drop to 18% and 27% respectively. Considering the fact that the military unquestioningly obeys nearly every order handed to it, despite the fact that America has been in some sort of military conflict in near perpetuity without a formal declaration of war since World War II, this would suggest the military has been quite comfortable following misguided and unconstitutional orders. Not the best judgement to entrust a military dictatorship to.
What this poll shows is an alarming ignorance among Americans. More Americans support an American coup d’état, than say the military should obey unconstitutional orders. Since an American coup d’état would be unconstitutional by definition, we have ourselves a case of raw stupidity. Since these are the same people electing this stupid government to power every 2, 4, and 6 years, no wonder things are so bad that people prefer a military dictatorship.
For those Americans who see the problems with the current system, and are willing to forgo the illusion of elections to see it put to an end, I would make another suggestion. Stop trusting the State to keep you safe and free altogether. I include police and military in this statement. The people who obey the orders to murder and oppress you and peoples throughout the world are not going to become kinder when given the power to issue said orders. The history of military dictatorships around the world has not been pretty, and the only reason you think the military is defending your freedom is because of the war propaganda fed to you by the same politicians you now want to violently overthrow.
Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. If you want the government to be violently overthrown, then you have to take responsibility for it yourself. You cannot simply bid the government violently overthrow itself, and then hope to find yourself living in the land of the free. Not even close. To attain freedom, you will be compelled to do nothing less than to fight back against the government yourself, and by “the government” I include the police and military personnel who fight to defend it. Nothing short of a culture of resistance, a culture where the common people would sooner fight and die than be oppressed, will bring about a free society. Until then, you can expect scam election after scam election to bring you a steady stream of Bushs and Clintons, and the misery and death they bring with them.
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