Every once and awhile someone posts an article on social media about President* Pennywise either refusing to leave office or provoking a coup. These articles are rarely by anyone who knows anything about the military or how it operates. Would Trump applaud a coup in his favor? Absolutely. He has fantasies of himself as an absolute monarch who will establish the Trump dynasty; emphasis on the word nasty.
Was it ever likely that the military would go along with a coup? No. While many officers are conservative, they’re also hawks who have been appalled by Trump’s attacks on NATO and his cozying up to Russia. The brass seem to be divided between those who cannot stand Trump and those who believe they have a duty to refrain from all forms of politics.
In typical Trump fashion, he thinks he can buy the military’s support by increasing defense spending. Money is everything to the Insult Comedian ergo it’s everything to everyone. Wrong. They believe in honor, duty, and country whereas Trump only believes in himself.
Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds and war criminal pardons have further alienated him from the military. Former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s searing exit letter is worth quoting at length:
The rule of law is what sets us apart from our adversaries. Good order and discipline is what has enabled our victory against foreign tyranny time and again, from Captain Lawrence’s famous order “Don’t Give up the Ship,” to the discipline and determination that propelled our flag to the highest point of Iwo Jima. The Constitution, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, are the shields that set us apart, and the beacons that protect us all. Through my Title Ten Authority, I have strived to ensure our proceedings are fair, transparent and consistent, from the newest recruit to the Flag and General Officer level.
Unfortunately, it has become apparent that in this respect, I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline. I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Spencer’s sentiments are widely shared throughout the armed forces, not just in the Navy. Trump’s interference in the military justice system is bitterly resented, especially his propensity to issue orders by tweet.
That’s not how they do business: the military is process oriented and takes a dim view of Trump’s anarchic disorderly ways. They’re not going to violate their oath to the constitution to keep the Kaiser of Chaos in power. There will be no tanks surrounding the White House on January 21, 2021.
I just saw the Coup episode of season 3 of The Crown. The broad outlines of the story are true: War hero and royal Lord Mountbatten gets involved in some preliminary coup plotting against Harold Wilson’s Labour government. After researching coups, he concluded that in a modern media saturated society such a coup could not succeed without the Queen’s support, which was not forthcoming. We don’t have a queen, just a wannabe dictator with keyboard courage and bone spurs that rendered him unfit for service.
Repeat after me: you cannot stage a coup without the military. There will be no coup.