Notes Top Story Wole Olaoye

America’s Failed Coup

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Image Credits: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images.

Wole Olaoye

“I, Brigadier-General Donald J. Trump, on behalf of the megalomaniac forces of the Republican Party hereby decree a suspension of the Constitution of the United States and the annulment of the presidential elections which returned one Joe Biden as elected.

“All land, sea, underground and oversea borders are hereby closed with immediate effect. All legislators have been ordered to return to their constituencies. Capitol Hill has been shut down. There shall be no inauguration of a new president on January 20 as the tenure of the incumbent government has been extended until 2024.

“I have therefore sworn myself in as the incoming and perpetual incumbent president of the United States of America. God bless our Save America warriors. God bless the United States of America!”

Don’t switch off the radio. That coup speech is not from the fictional African nation of Zamunda created by Eddie Murphy in the film, Coming To America. It is the coup day broadcast speech secretly penned by Donald Trump in the other loonie world where Beelzebub has rented a room-and-parlour in his head. Clinical psychologists had warned Americans four years ago that the narcissist was unfit for high office, but how do you prevent doomsday when there are as many as 70 million voters in whose heads The Donald himself has rented an apartment?

Hang in there, America, help is on the way! A delegation of veteran coup makers and bush war specialists lands in Washington soon to dissect the attempted coup staged by losers in the last presidential election and offer expert advise. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea (coup in 1979); Idriss Derby of Chad (coup in 1990); Frank Bainimarama of Fiji (coup in 2006); and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda (bush war in 1986) are jetting to the US to teach you how not to stage a coup against the self-proclaimed flagship of democracy.

They will share statistics from Clayton Thyne and Jonathan Powell’s coup dataset with you. Sneak preview: “There were 457 coup attempts from 1950 to 2010, of which 227 (49.7%) were successful and 230 (50.3%) were unsuccessful. Coups have been most common in Africa and the Americas (36.5% and 31.9%, respectively). Asia and the Middle East have experienced 13.1% and 15.8% of total global coups, respectively. Europe has experienced by far the fewest coup attempts: 2.6%.”

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Until Trump’s supporters violently stormed the hallowed chambers of the legislature in the Capitol last week, America was considered the capital of democracy in the world.

When news hit the airwaves that Turkey had issued an alert to its citizens living in the US to steer clear of central Washington and keep safe, Nigerians engaged gear, urging their government to send former President Jonathan as Special Envoy to America to teach Trump how to make a concession phone call and follow up with a concession speech.

The shoe is now on the other foot. I shudder to think that shithole words like ‘coup’ and ‘rigging’ have found their way into American everyday interlocution. This self-demystification of the world’s number one policeman is so comprehensive that even their foes have shed a tear or two while some are still reeling in shock that America’s underbelly was that soft. Now the US is the butt of every salacious joke in the world!

The outgoing president, Donald Trump, had revved up passions with his false claims of winning the elections on twitter and called on his supporters to come out and reclaim their ‘stolen’ mandate. In spite of wide publicity of the riot, the security agencies were caught napping as the domestic terrorists smashed windows and doors and skulls. Did the security arrangement fail because the rioters were white? Imagine if the rioters were black, hispanic or moslem — wouldn’t Trump have labelled them terrorists? Wouldn’t the mother of all terrors have been visited on them?

Staffers working in the Cannon House Office Building and Madison Building, which houses the Library of Congress, have been told to evacuate due to the protests. More than 300 DC National Guard troops had taken positions near the Capitol building. Other subterranean measures were in place but they all failed woefully.

If you ask History sometime in the future, you will find that the hero in all this, is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the Russian president who doubles as Trump’s puppeteer. Putin has succeeded in doing to America what America has done to countless countries on the face of the earth— interfere in the internal dynamics of the country by subterfuge. Thus, things fall apart as the falcon is programmed never to be able to decode the falconer.

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By encouraging treason on social media and live television, Trump finally lived up to the expectations of those who don’t wish America well. The scenes of cowering legislators running for dear lives; outnumbered security officials clinging on to banisters as lifeline; a swarm of human bees decimating everything in its path, rioters climbing on top of TV towers near the inauguration stage in front of Capitol building, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, calling for a ‘trial by combat’ in contesting the election results…. They looked like scenes from the Third, nay, Fourth World, especially if you factor in the video clip of Trump, his family and sidekicks relishing the mayhem as they watched on huge television screens. It was a scene that Roman Emperor Nero would have been proud of.

One of the Trump rioters (@realdlhughley) has taken to Instagram to confess that he was paid to participate in the mayhem. “I had a difficult time pulling off the act that I was paid to do. I’m making this video because I want to confess that I was paid to pretend to protest today. I can’t say by who…”

Donald Trump is the quintessential demagogue who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument. Like Goebels before him, he firmly believes that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. Thus, although he lost the presidential election by a mile (beaten with over 7 million popular votes in addition to the electoral college score of 306 to 232), Trump continues claiming that he won.

But Trump is not the only loser. There were others who remind one of the saying attributed to an abolitionist: “I freed 1,000 slaves; I could have freed more if only they knew they were slaves”. Take the case of New Utah Congressman Burgess Owens, a descendant of slaves who said, “I absolutely believe Trump won the election. There’s absolutely no question in my mind that I think he won”. Owens advocated the cancellation of all the results in Georgia (4,997,716 total votes cast), Michigan (5,539,302 total votes cast), Wisconsin (3,297,352 total votes cast) and Pennsylvania (6,925,255 total votes cast). He wanted those 13,834,370 votes thrown out so that Trump could have some kind of chance to re-emerge from the ashes of defeat. Really, some mothers do have them!

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Pentecostalism will also have to redefine itself in the wake of the decision of ranking pastors to side with evil. Isn’t Christianity about love anymore? Where did all the hateful bile come from? How can a true Christian align himself with those who see other human beings as non-persons? In Nigeria, the political elite use tribe and religion to divide the people. In America, Trump used race and religion. And the combustible mix earned him a whopping 70 million votes. Am I unfairly hyperbolic if I say that there are many closet racists in the so-called God’s own country?

Trump was bold to give voice to dyed in the wool white supremacists. He is their hero.

But he can never be mine. Some people have described him as a true shadow of the Antichrist yet to come. “You only need to destroy American Democracy to enthrone a world order of Autocracy which will be the government backbone of the Antichrist”, said a social media Nostradamus recently.

Mary Trump, the president’s niece, has second-guessed her uncle’s every move all the way: “After January, things look bleak for Donald. He has $400m of debt coming. Why would his lenders pay him any slack? He’ll be having meltdowns upon meltdowns right now. He has never been in a situation like this before. What’s interesting is that Donald has never won anything legitimately in his entire life, but because he has been so enabled by people along the way, he has never lost anything either. He’s the kind of person who thinks that even if you steal and cheat to win, you deserve to win.”

It’s all over, Brigadier-General Trump. The respected German journal, Der Spiegel, in crowning him LOSER OF THE YEAR, declared: Trump’s presidency is ending the same way it began — zero decency, zero dignity.

Please wake me up on January 20, 2021.

  • Wole Olaoye is a public relations practitioner and a public affairs commentator

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