A Coup d’état – Coup – is the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group.
The main prerequisite for a coup is, according to the encyclopedia Britannica, is “control of all or part of the armed forces, the police, and other military elements. Unlike a revolution, which is usually achieved by large numbers of people working for basic social, economic, and political change, a coup is a change in power from the top that merely results in the abrupt replacement of leading government personnel. A coup rarely alters a nation’s fundamental social and economic policies, nor does it significantly redistribute power among competing political groups. Among the earliest modern coups were those in which Napoleon overthrew the Directory on Nov. 9, 1799 (18 Brumaire), and in which Louis Napoleon dissolved the assembly of France’s Second Republic in 1851. Coups were a regular occurrence in various Latin American nations in the 19th and 20th centuries and in Africa after the countries there gained independence in the 1960s.”
But wait! Can a coup occur when an existing government is overthrown through its collusion with a foreign power – like Russia? Can it occur when the members of one party (the Republicans) support the insane actions of a president who consistently violates the rules of law and ethics because he thinks he is above the law? Because he doesn’t think the constitution applies to him?
In 1973, the government of President Salvadore Allende, a socialist, was overthrown by the armed forces and the national police. This occurred after a prolonged period of social unrest and political tension in Chile and a period of economic warfare that was ordered by President Nixon, who was impeached and resigned a year later for Watergate. Within a year of Allende’s overthrow, Augusto Pinochet, who was Allende’s army chief, assumed power in late 1974. His junta government was recognized by the U.S. government, which had created the conditions for the coup.
Before this, Chile was a light of democracy and political stability in South America.
Pinochet ruled for the next 14 years, and his regime was one of the most brutal.
Are there parallels here with what is happening in the U.S. now? With what has happened repeatedly in South American countries that we call Banana Republics? Is Russia assuming what was previously the role of our government? Let’s take a closer look.
Did trump and his administration collude with Russia to hack the U.S. elections? Why did trump fire Comey, the FBI director who was investigating his possible collusion with Russia? Why did trump fire Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General, who warned the White House shortly after trump’s inauguration that Michael Flynn, then the national security advisor, might be ripe for blackmail by Russia?
The day after trump fired Comey, he met with several Russian dignitaries in the White House. The U.S. press was barred from this visit; the Russian press was invited inside. According to the Washington Post, trump shared secret information with the Russians.
And, oh, Putin asked for that meeting.
There are so many footprints leading to the violation of the constitution, to ethical standards and the rule of law, to collusion with Russia, that any ordinary person who keeps track of the news can see the obvious. Trump, a figure created by the media, is a master of media manipulation and his intent is to establish an authoritarian government in which he is king. In which his word is law. In which anyone who disagrees with him is fired, threatened, arrested, disgraced and perhaps, eventually, sent elsewhere. He is aided and abetted by a complicit congress of republicans who control the house and the senate and are interested only in enriching themselves.
In a larger picture, the republican party is Darth Vader, their true nature so exposed and obvious now that their supporters have to be blind, deaf, and dumb to believe the repubs give a shit about their well-being. They care only about their own pocketbooks and power. In this larger picture, the dems are like Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, a minority who understands what’s at stake but are powerless to do anything about it. And the rest of us, the voting block of ordinary citizens in this country who, regardless of cultural, religious, or ethnic differences, understand what’s at stake, are Hans Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Do we cower in fear or do we speak up and fight for our freedoms? The choice is ours. We can’t afford to wait until the 2018 elections. It may be too late by then.