There has been considerable discussion about what to do if Trump loses in November, yet refuses to leave office.
But, let’s look at a broader problem: there’s open discussion that Trump and the republicans are trying to steal the election (as has happened before) – what if they try to steal the election, and appear to win by some margin? Let’s talk about that, shall we?
In Bush V Gore, we now know that Gore actually won Florida, i.e.: the presidency. Between the “brooks brothers riot” and the supreme court, and Gore’s political cowardice, the republicans stole that election and put their man in, who proceeded to make a spectacular hash of things. In Georgia in 2016, Kemp V Abrams, Kemp “won” by “just under 55,000 votes” in spite of open and public discussion about how he suppressed the vote: [wapo]
- Kemp oversaw an aggressive effort to purge voters before the election, with nearly 700,000, or 10 percent, removed from the rolls in the year before the election.
- Kemp placed 53,000 voter registrations in electoral limbo in October, with the Associated Press estimating that 70 percent were black voters
- More than 200 polling places across the state were closed, primarily in poor and minority neighborhoods.
- A still-unexplained 4.2 percent undervote in the lieutenant governor’s race, especially prevalent in minority precincts, could indicate serious problems with paperless, touch-screen voting machines in those areas.
In other words, Kemp lost by an unknown margin, but a significant one. He does not belong in office, he belongs in prison.
If you believe in “democracy” as opposed to “representative democracy” (e.g.: oligarchy) you should be willing to come out on a limb with me and say that Trump V Clinton was won – handily – by Clinton. The electoral college is not a democratic institution, it is one of the many tools that the oligarchy has put in place to moot the popular vote. Trump was not, and is not, currently a legitimate president, he’s a pretender (in the old sense of the word: “a person who aspires to a title or a position.” In a fit of epic projection, he and his supporters ran around chanting “lock her up!” while middle-of-the-road roadkill like Nancy Pelosi tried to work within the system that has been so good to them, to keep the situation stable. In case you hadn’t noticed, that “stability” has cost everyone a tremendous amount. [including some truly spectacular instability]
To add insult to injury, Trump was installed over the popular vote, and it later turned out (surprise, surprise) that he had invited Russian interference in the 2016 election, and his family, his supporters, and he naturally lied about it. Dig back down the timeline of that sordid affair and you will realize that everyone gave false testimony about wikileaks, the meeting with Russian agent Veselnitskaya, etc. I don’t think the Russian involvement did a lot to influence the election – it was the FBI’s absurd investigations of Hillary Clinton’s emails that did the damage – but it still shifted the vote a bit, and the election was stolen at the electoral college, anyhow. Trump tried the same trick with Ukraine instead of Russia but Trump’s bozos (particularly Rudy Giuliani) couldn’t do anything but a half-assed job. By the time the democrats got around to impeaching him, it was thoroughly too late – but once again the fix was in and Trump was left in power by those who installed him there; and they would have left him in power even if he had shot someone on 5th Avenue, as they smugly said.
Trump never was a legitimate president, is not a legitimate president now, and is attempting to (with the aid of his co-conspirators) steal the 2020 election, too. And weak-kneed democrats ask hand-wringingly, “what happens if he loses and refuses to leave office”? Motherfuckers: he already lost and he’s served a full term. What do think is going to happen?
So, let’s fall back on Rousseau’s logic and why The Social Contract was considered a blueprint for revolution, and Rousseau was – in his day – seen as a dangerous, radical, weirdo and not a shining star of the enlightenment. Rousseau argues that the state derives its legitimacy not from divine authority, but by consent of the governed. This consent, he says, is a ratification of an unwritten social contract – an agreement between the individual and the state – in which the individual gives up some of their natural rights in return for the state aggregating them and using them, again, on behalf of the people. For example: tax moneys are collected in order to build organizations like a Center for Disease Control, which serves the people who paid for it. Tax moneys are not collected in order to support a president’s golf habit, whether that president is legitimate, or not. Rousseau further notes – and this is where he got into hot water – that if a government begins breaking the social contract, the citizens no longer owe it allegiance; in fact it’s no longer a “government” it is now an occupying power, and the citizens’ rights re-confer upon them. At that point, the former citizens are welcome to wander about wearing Guy Fawkes masks, take drugs, shoot cops, and burn things. Because it’s no longer their cop – by the magic of Rousseau’s political alchemy, when the government gave up its legitimacy, the cop had a choice: either join the newly criminal enterprise known as “the former government” or to home and find something else to do. The path for a government to regain legitimacy is equally clear: they need to do all the things a legitimate government does, and then they are legitimate, again. But it’s more complicated than just stopping sending goons to pick protesters up off the street without due process [ <- “due process” in that sentence is the fulcrum on which the social contract rests] it needs to stop pretending to be democratic, needs to stop negating the political will of the citizens, and needs to stop installing illegitimate pretenders to office. If you dial back on the zoom a bit, and look at the big picture of the United States today, you can see the social contract being ignored pretty much, absolutely, everywhere. For example, in Florida, The People voted to allow felons their voting rights back. First off, under the social contract, a “democracy” has stepped onto thin ice if it decides that anyone is disenfranchised; that’s manifestly absurd because a million felons in Florida are a tiny drop in a huge population, even if they voted as a bloc, which they won’t. Yet, when The People tried to correct this crime against them, the ruling oligarchs in Florida announced that they were going to simply ignore the popular will. Way to “social contract”, Florida!
I’m actually sandbagging the case in favor of the US by pretending that it has, at some point in its political life, been a legitimate state – and I suspect that many of you know that I do not and never have thought that. Legitimacy is, obviously, a continuum between “totally legitimate” and “totally illegitimate” and no government is going to hit either of those ends; they’re mostly going to hover back and forth around the middle, with some dipping far one way or the other. Since its inception, the US has hovered toward the illegitimate end of the spectrum: after all, this is a government that negotiated into its founding documents that a significant percentage of the population were slaves whose ‘owners’ got to cast votes for them (that is the “representative” part of US “representative democracy”; the senate is based on the size of the population, including slaves as partial human beings). That’s disgusting. Then, the first major political action of the new US government was to raise an army to suppress popular tax revolts. The irony is rich: by the time the US had separated from England, taxes on the average US citizen were 30% higher than they were under English rule. The point is that, under Rousseau’s reasoning, Daniel Shays was in the right, as were the whiskey rebels – let alone Nat Turner and John Brown. To Turner, at least, the US was unquestionably an occupying power.
So, what happens if Trump – the illegitimate president – compounds his illegitimacy by refusing to leave office? By the way: of course he will – he feels he stole it fair and square, “never give a sucker an even break” and all that – he’s “all in” on illegitimacy already. We The People need to declare the social contract broken. The US government has no legitimate power over us, at that point, all they have is force. And, all we have is force, too. It’s probably too much to hope for, but 1 million people descending on Washington DC to burn the white house and everyone in it (who does not have the sense to repudiate their role in the occupying power and leave before the flames reach them) would be a completely legitimate response to a usurper. I’m not saying it would be a nice response, but when you’re talking about a government that is abrogating the social contract, that is what it means when The People say “we no longer owe you obedience.”
At this point, I suppose it’s traditional for a lefty/liberal/progressive to say a few things like “of course, I don’t believe violence is a good idea.” But that would be bullshit, and I feel like I owe you honesty: it may be the best option. For one thing, if you guillotine a few ci-devant now and then, the others are a bit more cautious for a generation, or two. Why do you think that European nobility switched from being “the anointed of god” to the “international rich jet set”? It’s harder to string them up, and in return they don’t expect The People to kiss their ring and their grubby feet. Right now, the US has a large body of well-armed morons who want another civil war but what they don’t understand is that re-litigating north versus south, slavery versus abolition, isn’t going to happen. That’s done. Sherman and Grant re-litigated that point:
by May the 10th (1865) Richmond had fell, it was a time I remember oh so well
The earlier part of the verse was “we were hungry, just barely alive.” Don’t forget that, either. The enlightenment-era politicians and nobility who clutched their pearls at Rousseau’s publishing a manual justifying revolution were right. Mostly. It’s a manual justifying anarchy, and revolution is on that path – you have to overturn the illegitimate political order to get them to fuck off, first.
Here’s where I’m going with this: if Trump refuses to leave the white house, We, The People need a response. It need not be a unified or coordinated response – and it won’t be, because we’ll be on our own. What we categorically should not do is look to Nancy Pelosi for our response. We should freestyle it, because, after all, we are no longer bound by the social contract as long as there is a pretender occupying the oval office. That means federal laws are all moot. That means nobody owes any taxes to the federal government. That means that federal marshals are occupying troops – and are legitimate military targets. Someone should warn them, first, out of courtesy. I was thinking about things to do at a local level and realized that one might be to (remember: use someone else’s printer because the NSA has hidden fingerprints in printer output) print up some fliers that read:
“Hello neighbor –
I see that you have a ‘Trump’ flag in your yard or on your house, and I would like to give you a few things to think about. Since Trump has decided not to vacate the white house after losing the election, he is a usurper – a counter-revolutionary – a traitor to the principles of US democracy. He’s going to eventually suffer some horrible consequences for that mistake, but that’s his problem. Let’s talk about you. By flying a Trump flag, you are publicly supporting a usurper; that’s treason. I don’t think it’s particularly smart to declare your treason so publicly, and I wonder if you’ve thought it through. Since the government has been taken over and has become an occupying power, when you chose to align yourself with it, you’re announcing that you’re part of the counter-revolution.
We would be quite justified to hang you from a tree with your Trump sign around your neck. When Trump finally is driven from the White House there will be arrests and prison sentences, but the inevitable purge probably won’t reach far down the hierarchy past the executive level. You probably think this will never affect you. You are wrong. Your neighbors who aren’t flying banners supporting treason are going to remember that you did, and that you stepped up and made yourself and your family fair game.
Guy Fawkes, your friendly neighborhood ANTIFA.”
Cue shit-fit. A lot of postal letter carriers would get shot by hopped-up gun-toting Trump supporters who were hiding behind their couches waiting for ANTIFA to kick in the door in their fashionable Doc Maartens.
I’m fucking sick of stupid online journalists asking “what do we do if Trump doesn’t leave?” in the failing news media. The answer is: general tax revolt, general strike, and a million people march on Washington with pitchforks, torches, and rifles, and burn the White House. I’m sure that the slaves who built the place would have loved to see that. And leave the ash and rubble untouched for a few generations, pour encourager les autres.
The enlightenment ideal of political speech as protected speech is because as long as a dog is barking, it won’t bite. Governments want to have free speech because that way there’s an element of the body politic that keeps interrupting the revolutionaries with plaintive JAQing off like, “are you sure violence is justified?” Are you fucking kidding me? If there’s ever been a monument that needs to be torched, it’s the white house. If there has ever been a US politician who loses an election and refuses to leave the white house, then the pitchforks and torches are fully justified self defense against a usurper.
What do we do if Trump doesn’t leave? Pitchforks and torches. Barricades and guillotines. General strikes and insurgencies. Tahrir Square and The Maidan. What a stupid question.