From the outside, it's impossible to tell if Trump is staging a coup or totally incompetent

He does NOT get a pass for incompetence. Even if he is. This shit is too real and too terrible to take lightly in any regard.


Coup - noun. a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.

The categorization of Trump’s actions so far fail to meet the definition on both the “illegal” and “seizure…from the government” elements.

Trump’s actions to date have been non-violent legal actions taken BY the government.*

Using the word “coup” here is to water it down and to avoid having future generations learn the lessons that they should learn from all of this: Politicians used a combination of 1) the existing rules of the single biggest representative democracy in the history; and 2) voter ignorance, gullibility, and apathy to convince 26% of eligible voters to give them immense power which they are now trying to use in every single way to push their agenda.

The word “coup” will be appropriate when the courts rule on something, Trump defies them, and either:

  1. Trump is impeached but tries to rally the military to keep him in power; or

  2. Some governors decide to deploy their national guard units to enforce the court order and Trump orders the military to oppose the governors.

Until then, Trump is legally doing what we said he would do all along.

PS: To those who blithely said “you guys took him literally but not seriously while his supporters did the opposite,” fuck you. Many of us took him both literally and seriously to no avail.

*Footnote on the legality element. The legality of the immigration ban is an open question. If they had omitted the clause that gives priority to “religious minorities” from those countries, I am fairly certain the order passes constitutional muster. Even if the religious minorities clause is found to be unconstitutional, that small piece does not rise to the level of illegal violent seizure of powerf romt he government to mean that we are seeing a coup…yet.


With this one and trumpgrets and Trump regrets, this is turning into a regular cottage industry.


It’s a bad idea to think of any group of voters this way. Numerically, it’s why Hillary took her “rust belt firewall” for granted and lost the election.


I know people who worked in the Obama '08 campaign going door to door to find undecideds and talk to them. This was when Bush was at 35%, Katrina was fresh in everyone’s memory, Iraq had been a clusterfuck for years, and the economy was in free fall. Undecideds and non voters tend to have a few common traits. They’re usually not the brightest, so simply explaining something clearly doesn’t work, trying to use an appeal to their better nature fails, and they simply hate even thinking about politics since they hear the “both sides” bullshit in the media (when they don’t tune it out to watch Real Housewives) and can’t work out what’s happening. Explaining to these people the benefits of single payer, financial regulation, etc. is actually an incredibly hard problem, because they’re not only misinformed, and ignorant, but not very interested in being informed.

I know a lot of people think “oh, if only we had a real leftist running with decent policies the voters would be motivated,” but once you meet enough Americans you see how that can’t possibly be true. We do need a good left wing candidate to pull in younger people (at the expense of older people) since they’re a lot harder to get to the polls otherwise, but just having good policy isn’t going to translate to any blowout or we’d be talking about Pres. Mondale, Pres. Dukakis, and Pres. Kucinich. As stupid as it is, if we want to win, what we need is a candidate with charisma more than a candidate with good policy, because Americans are by and large fucking idiots. Obama knew how to get people in the gut so they trusted him and wanted him to be their president. Bill Clinton was a master of it. Sanders was also really good at it, though he wasn’t quite good enough to survive the primary since his early campaign fumbled hard and he never caught up. Horrifyingly, Trump has this charisma with poorly educated people.

We do desperately need good policy, because that’s what we actually need. But as stupid as it is, if we want to win we need a candidate with a lot of qualities beyond that because being a left wing candidate in a US election is actually a net negative. If you look at the typical online political discourse Americans offer, they don’t have the foggiest notion of what any policy means, ‘socialism’ is a scare word for some Dems as well as every Republican and Independent, and by and large people they look to leaders they trust and follow their ideas. Which is why we need someone like Elizabeth Warren who not only is on the right side of history, but I think who has enough charisma to get people onboard and motivated to act, and is someone that people will look to as a leader.

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You forgot “sheeple”


You won’t hear a peep of complaint from me if you start with that right now.


There are too many people in the world (or the US) for individualist anarchism to work. It would have to be voluntary collectivist to work, at least without losing 90% of the population (and let’s fight to stop Trump/Bannon achieving that, please).


Why ignore the very real possibility that BOTH are true? In large organizations, incompetent people often try to grab more power than they are officially allocated because they assume they are being opposed in their ability to get anything done. Competent people don’t need to do so, because they both know how to get things done, and can tell whether they are being opposed or not.


We are a government of the people. So, to apply here it would be …from the people.

An illegal seizeure of power from the people is exactly what is happening here. Beginning with the least powerful.

The 5 year old in question - A Citizen.


It’s a coup by The Two Steves - them being part of a secret racist cabal that wants to turn the US into a theocracy and all. Trump thinks it’s his coup, but I ask you: who has been writing the executive orders, “borrowing” congressional aides and getting on committees? President Steve fucking Bannon.



That’s just Sonderful.


LOSER, surely?


I hope I don’t get an illegal seizure over this kind of argument.

This is no coup d’etat, orange is not the new black, and even a handcuffed five-year old can probably tell the difference between an example of injustice (particular case or executive order) and a forceful sudden ousting of the current executive power.

This doesn’t make the shit less smelly. Seriously, we really should digest our own stuff properly before having a scoop out of that bowl.

This made me think of the marshmallow experiment, especially because the original conclusion turned out to be wrong. It isn’t a measure of self-control, it’s a measure of what the person’s life has been like up to that point. Delicious irony: the fact that the “white person in Kentucky” example would almost certainly believe that a black child would be the one unable to trust that there really would be more if they waited 5 minutes, but that’s exactly what they themselves are doing.


True. Unfortunately I think the message that a lot of them are getting with the examples they’re seeing is that they haven’t been bigoted enough. Being subtle about racism, sexism, homophobia and other dog whistles apparently isn’t as successful as being blatant and open about it.