has already started.
The President and his army of “warriors” and sycophants
including the clearly complicit Republican Party in nearly its entirety, have all lined up to be part
of that coup, better to be on the winning side even of a dictatorship.
Americans have no frame of reference for what is
happening to our democracy. We are
scrambling to “wrap our minds” around what we are seeing.
What is happening now is but a continuation of the pattern started at the
beginning and followed by firings, dismantling of government agencies, demanding of loyalty oaths and lying.
We believe that these are things that happen only “over there,” in the
“third world,” to others with a history of such things.
But not here, not in America, the land of the free, the “shining city on
a hill.” As I wrote in
“…it may be that good people are not capable of imagining that anyone
can be so cruel.”
But a coup d’état
is indeed underway and although we are seeing it unfold every day, and we even
talk about it, we seem powerless to combat the evil which is taking over our
nation and emboldening our enemies.
The President and the Republicans and the federal courts
have used our naiveté, our innocence, in the same way that conquering nations
used the naiveté and innocence of their conquered peoples to destroy those
When the old colonial powers came to the New World, many of the native
populations welcomed them because those peoples had no frame of reference for
When someone, especially the President, tells us directly what he intends, we allow it to pass and tsk. But he is telling us what he intends to do and is doing exactly that. He has been telling us in no uncertain terms for the entirety of his term in office that he wants to be a dictator.
He has brazenly ignored the laws and the Constitution at nearly every
He tells us that he will seek a third term despite the
The President stated:
want to have — get rid of the ballots and you'll have a very — we'll have a very
peaceful — there won't be a transfer, frankly. There'll be a continuation.”
“GET RID OF THE BALLOTS!!!!”
The vote will not matter and will not count.
He wants to
declare that he won and have the courts, especially the Supreme Court with its
likely 6-3 very conservative majority, uphold his declaration.
In other words, the Court, a non-elected organ, should
decide who is president, not the voters.
He said that and we need to pay attention.
This is not a traditional coup d’état
where a head of state is undemocratically deposed with the support of armed
is not Chile when Pinochet overthrew Allende in 1973.
This is a coup d’état
in which the head of state assumes full control over the government and declares
himself despot, ruler, king, dictator…with the support of armed militias
(which he has already told to “stand by”) and
with the willing support of the legislature and the courts.
The parallels to Nazi Germany in 1932 and 1933 are
Hitler had the German legislature pass the
The Allegiance of Civil Servants and Soldiers of the Armed Forces,” requiring
everyone pledge their loyalty to him, personally, as the
Führer, and not to Germany.
We see the President divert our attention from his
failures and misdeeds to the “deep state” and are reminded of how Hitler
diverted the attention of the German people by claiming conspiracies to
undermine him on the part of the Jews and the Communists.
The President’s allies may not be called Goebbels or
Goering or Himmler, but the roles they play are the same.
The playbook is virtually identical.
“The Enabling Act” and
Hitler came to power through the use of the laws and
then consolidated his power and took over the legislature and the courts and
everyone went along and it was a done deal, a fait accompli.
And everyone in the Republican party is lining up to be on the “winning” side.
No one wants to be left standing when the music stops.
And make no mistake: the music is stopping.
And when it stops, the entirety of the American people and our democracy will be
without a chair.
healthcare. Or Social Security.
Or Medicare. Or clean air.
Or clean water. Or freedom.
Or healthcare. Or Social Security. Or Medicare. Or clean air. Or clean water. Or freedom.
Everything is primed for a declaration under the Insurrection Act.
I will go into further details in a forthcoming article.
What Can We Do?
In “Respect for the Law”
The fragility of the law is due, in large part, to the fact that there actually
is no law outside of that which we elect to have as law.
The law is not self-fulfilling.
Writing some statute into a code book, having a court
interpret a law, does not make anything happen.
Law only is effective to the degree that we, the
individuals who make up our society, elect to have it be effective.
We are totally responsible for the continuation and
effectiveness of the law.
If enough of us agree the law or a given aspect of the
law is not reflective of who we are as a society, that law goes unenforced or in
some instances, is repealed or overruled by court decision.
In other words, we are the law.
The law doesn’t exist in a vacuum…it exists because we
want it to exist.
If we stop wanting it to exist, it will cease to exist.
In one sense, this puts us at a disadvantage because the other side does not
care about the law.
The other side believes the law is for
“suckers,” “losers,” “fools,” “schmucks.”
We have the press and journalists, although the coup’s attack on them is
relentless and thus who knows how long free press will last.
I would continue to like to believe we have the courts.
And we have the vote.
We have the vote.
So there is hope amidst the darkness.
VOTE EARLY. VOTE EARLY. VOTE EARLY.
VOTE EARLY. VOTE EARLY. VOTE EARLY.
Copyright © 2020 Ivan Hoffman. All Rights Reserved.
Ivan Hoffman has been practicing intellectual property law for over 47 years and has written extensively about the topic. (www.ivanhoffman.com).
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