Credit: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT

In December 2020, we are a country awash in sedition and an attempt at a coup d’etat, things I never thought could happen in the United States.

As I pointed out in my last column (“Trump’s Anti-Democratic Campaign Must Be Countered”), Donald Trump’s attempts to reverse our presidential election, clearly won by Joe Biden, is sedition. This mark of sedition should now be branded on the 18 states and more than 100 congressional Republicans advocating that the Supreme Court overturn the election results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

The lawsuit basically argues that because of mail-in voting, the results in the four states were rife with fraud and should be overturned. This without any evidence of substantial voter fraud, despite all four states have gone through — exhausting checking and recounts without finding Trump’s desired voter fraud. The Electoral College will certify the Biden win on Monday, December 14. The Supreme Court will not overturn the election. It has already been litigated in all four states. Trump lost!

Trump’s legal challenges were dismissed because there is no evidence supporting them. The Texas lawsuit will be dismissed because in our federal system each state has the legal right to determine how it runs its own elections. In other words, if Texas can intervene in Wisconsin’s election, for example, then subsequently Wisconsin would be able to intervene in Texas’s elections. This kind of ruling by the Supreme Court would destroy our foundational system of states’ rights. Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021 as the 46th president of the United States.

What, however, is frightening about the fact that 18 states, more than 100 members of Congress, and the President of the U.S. support this law suit is that it is an attempt at a coup d’etat in the world’s foremost democracy. It is reminiscent of the succession of the Confederacy in 1861.

While a coup is generally associated with a violent overthrow of a government, it also includes a sudden decisive exercise of force in policy including “the overthrow of an existing government by a small group” (Merriam-Webster). Joe Biden received 306 electoral votes, the same number Trump declared was a landslide in 2016. In our democracy it takes 270 electoral votes to become president. All 50 states have certified their election results. More than 30 lawsuits attempting to overturn the election have been thrown out of courts across the country. If the Supreme Court were to agree with the Texas lawsuit, it would be a Coup — a complete transformation of our democracy into an authoritarian state by a “small group.”

What is equally disturbing about this attempt at a coup is that it is part of our ongoing civil war. Eight of the 18 states (if one includes South Carolina, which fought the Union army) were part of the Confederate States that seceded from the Union. Our Civil War was unequivocally about the “Southern” states wanting to keep and maintain a slave economy. If one examines the underpinning of the Texas lawsuit, it becomes obvious that this too is all about subjugating African Americans.

The Texas lawsuit is an attempt by white nationalism to revert our society back to one of the most shameful episodes in our history — slavery. The lawsuit is aimed at targeting those counties, in the four states, that are predominantly made up of African-American voters. It’s an attempt to disenfranchise black voters, much the way the Civil War was an attempt to continue the enforced domination of African-American slaves.

The epitaph for the sorry saga of the Texas led attempt at a coup was ironically delivered by Republican Texas Senator John Cornyn. The former Texas Attorney General and State Supreme Court justice said: “This idea of one state … challenging the constitutionality of actions taken according to the laws … in other states is … unprecedented. It has some pretty serious ramifications.” Indeed, it would be a coup d’etat.


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