A Coup Against the Constitution?
The Constitution is under attack!
Both left and right have claimed this so many times it’s easy to chalk it up to hyperbole and stop listening. But what would it look like if an internal coup against the Constitution of the United States were, in fact, underway? Specifically, what would be the signs that an attempt to fundamentally transform the country really was dismantling our Constitutional system and protections? What would the statist left do differently if they were staging a coup themselves or inciting an actual insurrection from the right in response?
Let’s look at some of the things going on right now and you can decide for yourself. Here are some current claims by the activist left and the actions they are attempting in response.
Democracy is being destroyed and we must enforce the will of the people: Change the system of government to allow a current majority to gain total control of the apparatus and then make permanent changes to ensure it cannot be displaced.
This claim is front and center in one of the most pernicious attempts to subvert the Constitution. We do not live in a democracy; America is a federal republic. This means that the will of the people is never supposed to be directly enacted. This was done to prevent mob rule, as in pure democracy whoever has 50.000001 percent support on an issue gets their way.
The design of three co-equal branches of government and the split of Congress into a populist lower house and a state-based upper house was to stop a temporary or even permanent majority from trampling on a minority. The left hates that because it prevents them from using the massive power of the federal government to force compliance with their plan to create a quasi-socialist thought-police state.
Part of the transformation they seek is the removal of those limits on power by any means necessary. It angers them that the smaller states get an equal representation to the larger ones in the Senate. When the woefully misnamed “For the People Act,” which would have basically nationalized elections, was shot down, many on the left made the point: “The 50 Democratic senators who support the For the People Act represent 43 million more Americans than the 50 Republican senators who oppose it”
The Founders would have applauded the outcome they are bemoaning, as would anyone who supports our Constitutional processes. But the statist left can only see an antidemocratic institution. Former Obama speechwriter David Litt wrote in the Washington Post that the Senate itself is the danger: “The problem runs deeper than any single cultural or political trend, and it goes beyond the conduct of any individual senator. One of America’s most hallowed institutions has become a threat to our democracy itself.”
There was serious discussion about statehood for the District of Columbia and possibly Puerto Rico earlier this year as the left searched for ways to circumvent the controls in that dusty old parchment locked away in the National Archives. But that nakedly partisan ploy to generate fresh Senators was too much for even many in their own party.
We must pack the Supreme Court until we get the rulings we want: Co-opt the system of Justice at the highest level possible so as to gain and maintain the final say on what is and is not permissible under the law.
In addition to spinning up new states, the left is also wondering how to get a Supreme Court that will rule in its favor. There is no legal requirement for nine justices, so they saw the opportunity to use their wafer-thin tie plus Kamala Harris in the Senate to add some seats and pack the court.
While the act of doing so might be technically Constitutional, the reason for doing it is clearly anti-Constitutional. Many Democrats and leftists no longer see the Bill of Rights as the most powerful protection citizens possess. They see an impediment to doing the important work they were put here to do. That includes exempting hate speech (as they define it) from the First Amendment and getting that ridiculous Second Amendment back to its proper place securing the right to a flintlock musket of your choice.
They want a Supreme Court that will rubber stamp any initiative that helps rein in all that dangerous individual liberty. That type of freedom may have been fine 250 years ago, but how will they save the planet if people can drive whatever car they want and raise cows for the absurd purpose of eating steak? They truly believe we can no longer afford to allow people to make decisions they disagree with. The Constitution is just chock full of these restrictions on what the government can do, shall not infringe this, cannot abridge that. How on Earth will they get everyone on board the high-speed rail to their brave new world with all these roadblocks?
Enemies of the State: Designate your political opponents as enemies of the state to demonize them in the eyes of the public. Use all the security and bureaucratic powers of the state against them.
The modern era of direct attacks by bureaucrats based on ideology came into full effect when the IRS targeted Tea Party groups over their tax-exempt status. This happened during Obama’s reign, but really went into overdrive when Trump was elected. From the Wall Street Journal:
Imagine if liberal groups discovered that President Trump’s Internal Revenue Service was targeting them for heightened scrutiny or harassment. The media and Democrats would decry this assault on the First Amendment and declare the U.S. on the brink of autocracy.
The control of the permanent bureaucracy in government by the political left has already been achieved. Around 90 percent of political donations by government union employees go to Democrats. The partisanship became evident during the Trump administration as the intelligence community and Justice Department were shown to be increasingly biased. They spent nearly four years pushing a theory that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians in the 2016 election that was embarrassingly false.
Special Counsel William Mueller spent more than two years and untold millions of dollars yet found zero evidence of any collusion. But that was never the point, and they knew it before he even began. They were hoping for any collateral dirt that would be unearthed and more importantly to delegitimize the new president.
The new statists made two more attempts at Trump via impeachment. The first was on a pathetically trumped-up charge for investigating the all-too-real corruption of the Biden family in Ukraine. This involved members of the permanent bureaucracy using their insider status to embellish this nothingburger supreme. Then they took a final run with an equally weak attempt to claim Trump incited the Capitol riot.
All three of these abuses of state power failed at their stated goals. They succeeded, however, in the actual goal: to hurt or destroy political opponents using a combination of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals number 13—“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”—and George Orwell’s “Two Minutes Hate” as media outlets ran countless pieces making outrageous claims about Trump, almost all of which turned out to be false.
The 2020 election was a debacle for many reasons, as the Democrats exploited the COVID crisis to shred the usual controls on ballots and their validation. They got the outcome they wished. Then on January 6 they got their own Reichstag Fire to use against all the rabble who supported Donald Trump.
There was no “insurrection” that day, but the Biden team has seized upon it to smear anyone on the political right as an enemy of the state who even questioned the election in any way. The people swept up in the massive dragnet deployed by the state security apparatus have been treated as terrorists and over-charged shamelessly for what in most cases was glorified sightseeing. The government activists needed an insurrection, so they invented one. The only conspiracy here was by the left to deprive their political opponents of their Constitutional rights.
The National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism released on June 15, 2021, was the institutionalizing of their Constitutional coup. They now could put a jackboot on the neck of anyone to the right of Bernie Sanders. The biased nature of this was evidenced by the immediate call to designate white supremacists and militia members as terrorists after ignoring the year-plus long revolution in the streets of America by Black Lives Matter activists and Antifa.
They knew who they were after and it had nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with ideology. They were hellbent on criminalizing conservatism.
Shut up they said: Use your influence with the media and social media to ensure that only leftist-sanctioned narratives are allowed to proliferate. Censor those who dare speak thought crimes, perhaps outsource this since that pesky First Amendment is still in effect.
The information space is dominated by leftist control and ideas. The outlets that propagate conservative ideas must operate as insurgents and constantly be alert for attacks on their operations. The usual answer to complaints about this notes, “These are private companies who can do what they want on their own platforms, just build your own”.
That requires access to certain technical resources, which, as the alternative to Twitter startup Parler found out, are also controlled by the statist left. Conservative efforts were shut down by an alliance of Amazon, Google, and Apple. The monopoly status of the tech tyrants makes competing with them effectively impossible.
The use of this power was painfully evident when the tech firms all conspired to hide evidence of corruption by Hunter Biden and then candidate Joe Biden near the end of the 2020 election. Hunter’s laptop was found and contained a potentially election-crushing trove of information. The news media and social media propaganda wing of the left went into immediate 1984 mode and hid the story by the New York Post, then banned anyone on social platforms who mentioned it. They even went back to their old favorite and claimed it was Russian disinformation.
The ongoing bias, discrimination, and censorship of conservative ideas and individuals has been very effective. The Biden team recognized just how useful this was and now has proposed outsourcing censorship to Silicon Valley to side-step that outdated Constitutional ban on abridging freedom of speech.
Right in their Domestic Terror Strategy it says:
These efforts speak to a broader priority: enhancing faith in government and addressing the extreme polarization, fueled by a crisis of disinformation and misinformation often channeled through social media platforms, which can tear Americans apart and lead some to violence,
This greatly expands existing efforts towards censorship coordination between the government and social media companies, justified by alleged foreign interference. It is just a stroll down that lane to totalitarian control of approved speech and ideas. They should consider a government security agency to enforce that. Perhaps they could call it the thought police.
Never let a pandemic go to waste: Use the legitimate fear of a global pandemic to push a massive program of government control over personal liberty. Socialize people to the idea none of their Constitutional freedoms are absolute given a scary enough crisis.
The Wuhan virus was a perfect storm for the statist left. It gave them a way to attack Trump and weaken him coming into an election where he was going to cruise to reelection. That was paired with the medical emergency and “science” that required all Americans to accept a suspension of their rights to ensure we all didn’t die.
Democrat governors and other officials went all in on refusing to trust their citizens and passed many edicts that were questionable at best. Gov. Whitmer of Michigan eventually got slapped down by her own state’s Supreme Court for her un-Constitutional power grab. Many others used or exceeded their authority to order lockdowns, restrict gatherings, order masks, and impose other steps because we could not question the science and the bureaucrats. The message was relentlessly carried by the leftist media, who love a medical story to get eyeballs and the chance to exploit it to attack enemies and empower allies.
They also showed their cards in carrying water for the Communist Chinese who caused the outbreak and turned it into a pandemic by hiding the truth. It became a social media death sentence to point out the odd fact this supposed animal market disease came from right next to a lab where scientists were working on exactly this type of virus. Hillary Clinton even questioned the dangers posed by the Wuhan lab back when she was secretary of state. Later we found that the Biden team knew all along that a Wuhan lab origin for the virus was entirely plausible. They and their media partners just made sure none of the rest of us could know that because we can’t be trusted with the truth.
There are many more instances of a concerted effort to escape the bounds of the Constitution the Solons of the modern left find inconvenient. What would a disinterested observer conversant with the principles of our Constitution conclude if they were to examine just the events laid out here? It is an unavoidable conclusion. We are witnessing a coup against the Constitution and our republic.
There is no reason to believe they are going to stop. Why would they? It’s working. The only question is whether we decide to fight back and secure these freedoms. I say, yes!
Jim Hanson is executive director of America Matters and author of Winning the Second Civil War: Without Firing a Shot.