The Coup in Our Minds

3 min readOct 29, 2020

There have been a spate of nervous articles published online and off over the last few weeks encouraging people to vote for Mr. Biden “because our democracy won’t survive four more years of Mr. Trump.”

While voting is certainly the preferable way, it is not the only way. We must, with Henry II, cry, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” and then act on our own command. We must rid ourselves of Donald Trump, election be damned.

It doesn’t matter how he seeks to retain office — whether by suppressing the vote, by a narrow electoral college victory, by challenging ballots and vote counts, or by a Supreme Court ruling — Mr. Trump must not remain in office.

He is illegitimate. He seeks to destroy our values. He has brutalized children. He is a racist. He has killed over 220,000 Americans. He must go.

We’ve been thinking of “coup” too narrowly, as something Mr. Trump might do if he loses the electoral college. The fact is, any way Mr. Trump connives to remain in office is a coup, even if the Electoral College or the Supreme Court bless it.

We must not be complacent. We must not be cowed by “Oh, he won the Electoral College” or “Oh, the Supreme Court has ruled.” We must not allow a “coup in our minds” to passively accept defeat. We must not stand down while evil stands up.

The Constitution is not a death pact. It is not set in stone. If the institutions outlined in the Constitution fail to protect us — and the Constitution itself — then it is our responsibility to protect ourselves and the Constitution.

This will require “extra-Constitutional” actions. As people in the Philippines, Serbia, the Ukraine, Gambia, Bolivia and elsewhere have done, we must resist not only a stolen election but a fascist regime. This means people must go into the streets everywhere, but especially in Washington DC, and stay there until the demon is exorcised.

This will be dangerous. At a minimum, Mr. Trump will call on the armed thugs he told to “stand down and stand by.” He will use the quasi-military forces in Department of Homeland Security. He may attempt to force the military into action (the current leadership have said they see no role for the military in an electoral dispute, but they can be replaced).

We must be resolutely nonviolent, but resolutely determined to remove the evil in our midst. We were born in revolt, and to revolt we must now return.

We must protect the future of our children and grandchildren. If we fail to act, we are condemning them to the uncertainty, misery, and death of living in a fascist nation. Of being unfree.

Millions of people must go into the streets and remain there until Mr. Trump and his administration leave. There will be no negotiations, no compromises. We will undo Mr. Trump’s legacy first by removing him and his administration, then by ending the Republican minority rule in the Senate, followed by an expansion of the number of justices on the Supreme Court.

We are under no obligation to submit to rule by fascists and oligarchs. We are under no obligation to resign ourselves to the disastrous legacy of minority rule. We are under no obligation to accept the failure of our institutions.

“Good Germans” is an obscenity. So is “Good Americans.”