Trump – What would have happened if fascist mob had seized control?
By TruePublica: David North has played a leading role in the international socialist movement for 45 years. He is presently the national chairperson of the Socialist Equality Party (United States). Whatever your political views are in both the UK and the US, North makes some very interesting points that should not be simply overlooked or written out by journalists and historians. North writes about what might have happened if those that stormed the Capitol in the name of Donald Trump had succeeded in their objectives. He provides a very sobering thought as to what may well have been an outcome no-one has really considered properly and indicates just how this could have impacted politics in the UK.
On January 6, 2021—in an event for which there is no precedent in the history of the United States—several thousand right-wing extremists, mobilised by various white supremacist, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant neo-Nazi and fascist organizations—stormed the Capitol in Washington DC. They intended to murder and take as hostages those whom they perceived to be enemies of Donald Trump, including Democratic congressmen and even Vice President Mike Pence. Timed to coincide with the congressional certification of the results of the Electoral College vote, the purpose of the attack was to stop the official recognition of the election of Joseph Biden as president of the United States.
Had the tactical objectives of the operation been achieved, the political outcome would have been not only the delay of the constitutionally mandated certification of the Electoral College balloting. Having murdered congressmen and congresswomen, and taken hostages, the fascist leaders would then have demanded that the outcome of the balloting in states Trump falsely claimed to have won—such as Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania—be overturned. The demands of the hostage-takers would have received overwhelming support from the Republican Party, not to mention Trump himself. Inspired by the power exercised by the fascist leaders in Washington DC, there would have been, in all likelihood, similar operations carried out in various state capitals all across the United States.
As the hostage drama played out, with the official date of the inauguration approaching and countless lives at stake, Biden and the Democratic Party would have come under tremendous pressure to accede to at least some of the hostage-takers’ demands in the interest of stopping a bloodbath and reopening the government.
The scenario described above did not unfold, because the fascist insurrection failed to achieve its tactical objectives. The leaders lost control of their mob, which, once it had penetrated the Capitol building, wasted precious time taking selfies and looting. The congressmen escaped before they could be either murdered or taken hostage.
But regardless of the outcome, the event itself was an attempted coup d’état. To deny this obvious fact is an evasion and distortion of reality, which serves to cover up the immense political dangers that persist, and will grow more intense, in the months ahead.
Many political commentators have taken sides. Trump was organising a coup on the one hand or had no prior knowledge of the plan to take over the Capitol on the other. Free speech has come into question, particularly around Trump’s Twitter account that is perceived by many as his tool of choice for the insurrection.
It is a terrible indictment of the American tech giants, that is to say, Twitter, Facebook and Google to name the three main participants – that they should decide after all the damage caused to civil society through their toxic platforms, to ban Trump after this particular event – but also the years preceding it. They have profited to the tune of billions and when the focus of attention of their involvement was turned towards them – only then did they act to save themselves under the guise of being the white knights of democracy.
However, we should not forget, as North says that Trump used the military police against protesters in Washington and threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act and deploy the military throughout the country. In addition, he threatened to kidnap and assassinate the governors of Michigan and Virginia, exposed in October, which were egged on by Trump’s call to “Liberate Michigan!” Finally, we should not forget that top Trump allies repeatedly called on him to declare martial law in order to seize power if he lost the election. All of this was hastened on by the same tech platforms in their hungry pursuit of profits at all costs.
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Don’t forget that in Britain, we too have a political consensus corrupted by social media. Brexit and Boris Johnson were both levered into place by the illegality of the social media giants and others unaccountable organisations such as Cambridge Analytica and the right-wing agenda of organisations like Vote Leave and Leave.EU. Don’t forget, we too have a fully divided society due to the deliberate architecture of stoking culture wars around immigration, race and the decline of Britain’s so-called ‘exceptionalism’. Don’t forget that since Johnson’s arrival, press freedom has rapidly declined, state censorship is now standard practise, scrutiny of government policy is secret and laws are being changed by decree, not parliamentary democracy – all of which, will define the country for generations to come.
We too are a nation that is increasingly polarised by its caustic political actors. We too have Russian interference, dodgy donors, dark money, front charities, paid for fake think tanks and corruption, which is becoming embedded at the centre of power. We too have Trump -like ‘alternative facts’ and a worrying and very rapid decline of the moral authority of those in government. Even basic facts are distorted by the constant lies of Boris Johnson and his self-serving acolytes. None of this came with a national debate. So don’t let anyone tell you, that things couldn’t decline to the extent that a political insurgency could erupt in front of us – because most of their work is already done.