“Technically, the next attempt to overthrow a national election may not qualify as a coup,” Barton Gellman begins in an article at The Atlantic. Technically, it’s labeled “Politics,” when clearly it should be labeled “Fiction.”
The article is entitled, “Trump’s next coup has already begun.”
That is an extraordinary claim, and if valid, should be very disturbing to the reader. With a remarkable claim and the stakes of its truth value so high, the author would certainly care to support their claims with evidence.
How does Gellman know that there will be an attempt to overthrow a US election? And how does he know that it may not qualify as a coup? There’s no hyperlink to any other source material for an explanation, so perhaps in the subsequent sentences or paragraphs, we’ll learn where Gellman got this extraordinary insight into an imminent election coup and its means of operation.
“It will rely on subversion rather than violence, though both will play a role. If the plot is successful, American voters’ ballots will not decide the presidency in 2024. Thousands, if not millions, of votes will be discarded to achieve the desired effect. The loser will be declared the winner. President-elect, the loser will be certified.”
No links to sources for evidence. Just wild speculative claims. That isn’t a news report or even an opinion piece. That’s just fanfic of our actual, real politics. It should be marked as such because this is an article of the fake news that’s been misinforming the public and devaluing truth and reality since the entire journalism industry loosened its standards and its ethics to grow circulation and sales, and making “news” easier to produce (by producing low quality or utterly fake news and passing it off as news) a dangerous and stupid game to play with our machinery of government.
“The prospect of a democratic collapse is not improbable. People with a desire to see it happen are creating the means. They will act if given a chance. They’re already acting.” On and on, he goes with the wild speculations and not a shred of anything actually to connect this screen to reality. It is frankly QAnon in character, and it is exemplary of many such articles on all the major news platforms today (not to pick on The Atlantic or Mr. Gellman alone).
“Today, it is unclear who or what will protect our constitutional order. It’s not even clear who will try. Democrats, big and small D, are not acting as if the threat is real.”
Oh, so no one in the Democratic Party takes this seriously but you? No evidence. Wild, inflammatory, fearmongering claims that stoke political misinformation and tension? This piece is Blue-Anon through and through. After whetting the Blue fanfic reader’s appetite, the author proceeds to go through the motions of journalistic propriety by naming some states and saying that Republicans will try to win in 2024.
The author dresses this up in more dubious, unsupported characterizations and the hysterical rhetoric of journalistic moral panic. Still, in substance, he describes the standard ground game of US politics with state election policy in the perpetual tug of war between the two parties to gain an advantage. It’s a far cry from a coup or anything illegal or unethical.
He seasons the fare with some standard “Orange Mad Bad” spice, and voila, you got some fake news for The Atlantic’s readers to get stupider too.