One would think that controlling the presidency, the Senate, and the House would make Leftists happy, but an article published Monday in The Atlantic and amplified Sunday on MSNBC shows that despite all their electoral success, they’re more mendacious, hateful, and paranoid than ever.
Ever since Old Joe Biden started pretending to be president of the United States, the Left has been working assiduously to demonize and destroy all opposition to his agenda and to portray Donald Trump and his supporters as enemies of democracy, of freedom, and of all that is good. First, there was the Jan. 6 “insurrection.” No one was killed except a Trump supporter and Trump himself called for peaceful protest, but in the Left’s febrile propaganda, this has become a more serious threat than anything since the British burned down the White House during the War of 1812.
Then there is the ongoing demonization of Trump supporters as “white supremacists” and Biden’s handlers’ repeated insistence, despite a complete lack of supporting evidence, that “white supremacists” constitute the greatest terror threat the nation faces today. And now comes The Atlantic portraying Trump’s supporters as ready to destroy our free society at a word from their master, with MSNBC gleefully echoing this nonsense.
The Atlantic’s farrago of half-truths, lies, and propaganda was called “Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun,” and it builds an incredible castle of sand upon the Left’s Jan. 6 mythology. “If the plot succeeds,” The Atlantic’s Barton Gellman wrote breathlessly, “the ballots cast by American voters will not decide the presidency in 2024. Thousands of votes will be thrown away, or millions, to produce the required effect. The winner will be declared the loser. The loser will be certified president-elect. The prospect of this democratic collapse is not remote. People with the motive to make it happen are manufacturing the means. Given the opportunity, they will act. They are acting already.”
Now there are plenty of Republicans who believe that the Democrats are plotting to do exactly that, but as far as Gellman is concerned, that’s exactly the problem: he claims that in their belief that Leftists are destroying democracy, conservatives will destroy democracy and that the leader of this nefarious endeavor is (who else?) none other than Donald J. Trump. Gellman quotes Richard L. Hasen, a professor of law and political science at UC Irvine: “The democratic emergency is already here. We face a serious risk that American democracy as we know it will come to an end in 2024, but urgent action is not happening.”
It is to bring about such urgent action that The Atlantic published this piece, and on Sunday’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked MSNBC analyst John Heilemann about it: “I want to read what Bart Gellman wrote in the cover story for The Atlantic. Some might say it is hyperbolic, but John Heilemann, I’m curious if you think it is? The headline is Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun. ‘Trump and his party convinced a dauntingly large number of Americans, that the essential workings of democracy are corrupt, that the made-up claims of fraud are true, that only cheating can thwart their victory at their polls, that tyranny usurped their government and that violence is a legitimate response.’ Hyperbolic or fact?”
Heilemann gave the predictable answer: “Fact, I think. The strength of that Gellman piece is it lays out this extraordinary reality that there is this research that shows something like 8% and maybe as many as 12% that say Joe Biden was illegitimate and violence is an appropriate tool to removing him and restoring Donald Trump. That’s between 20 and 30 million people. That’s a mass movement in America in favor of political violence, which is a new thing. We’ve been political violence before, lynching many things over the course of time that African-Americans have suffered, but this is 30 million people right now who are ready to take up arms. You put that together with what the president, the former president, and his allies are doing in the political realm, statehouses, state legislatures, and the party apparatus to be able to engineer a situation where they are in a stronger position to pull off a coup in 2024 than they were 2020. That’s not hyperbolic at all. Those are all facts.”
Not really. The survey claiming that as many as 30 million Americans are ready to undertake a violent coup for Donald Trump is the work of the University of Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST). The director of CPOST is one Robert Pape, who several years ago won renown for a study purporting to demonstrate that the vast majority of suicide bombers were not motivated by Islamic texts such as the notorious Qur’an passage promising paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (9:111).
Pape’s study, however, was deeply flawed methodologically and in other ways, minimizing or ignoring evidence disproving his thesis. Jonathan Fine of the Middle East Quarterly observed: “Despite the revisionism advanced by Pape and others, the fact remains that most suicide bombings since 1980 in the world in general and in the Middle East in particular are sponsored by Islamist and not secular terrorist groups. Pape avoids this conclusion by gerrymandering his data so that he does not need to include the significant numbers of suicide bombings conducted by Sunnis against Shi’a in Iraq.”
Is his data in his new study likewise manipulated? The possibility cannot be dismissed out of hand. In any case, it’s extremely convenient for those who want to argue that Donald Trump is a clear threat to our free society. One might almost get the idea that The Atlantic and MSNBC were trying to ensure that Trump can’t run again in 2024, not because he was rejected by the voters, but because he offends the intelligentsia. They wouldn’t do something as underhanded as that, would they?
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