Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Trump is too dumb and unpopular to pull off a coup

Whenever I worry about the future of the possibility that Trump might try to steal the upcoming election, effectively organizing a coup, I am reassured by the fact that he is too stupid to lay the proper groundwork for it. If you want to seize power under dubious legal means, you need to lock down the support of the various power centers in the government, such as law enforcement, the spy service, and the military. The fact that Trump is telegraphing that he intends to fire the head of the FBI, the CIA, and the head of the military as soon as he secures a second term is an incredibly dumb move if he plans to do something sketchy next week.

Also Trump is still, and has always been, widely unpopular. Coup leaders don't necessarily need a clear majority to hang on to power, but it helps a lot of they have broad support, or at least tolerance by a public longing for stability. Trump lacks public approval. No modern president has had negative approval ratings for his entire presidential term. And while the public clearly longs for stability, it is just as clear that Trump is the cause of instability so he would not get any support for that.