By Barry Sheppard
On May 30, retired General Michael Flynn, a campaigner for Trump’s Big Lie that he won the 2020 election, spoke at a rally in Dallas, Texas, “For God and County Patriot Roundup”, organised by leaders of QAnon.
QAnon is a leading force backing calls for the 2020 election be overturned and Trump reinstated as president. For months QAnon online forums have taken this to the extreme, calling for a “Myanmar” style coup to accomplish this.
We know that there was not just a military coup in Myanmar (Burma), but subsequent mass suppression of opponents of the coup, with soldiers firing on demonstrators and opposition groups. News reports say some 700 people have been killed so far, while resistance continues.
At the rally, a speaker from the floor using a microphone shouted to roars of approval, “I want to know why what happened in [Myanmar] can’t happen here?”
Flynn, who took an oath in July 2020 to support QAnon, replied: “No reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason. Right? That’s right.”
This was caught on video.
Flynn was national security advisor to the Trump 2016 campaign. When Trump was elected, he was appointed National Security Advisor for the U.S., for a short time, when he had to resign because he was caught lying to the FBI.
He was tried and convicted for that, but was later pardoned by Trump.
QAnon has popularised many weird conspiracy theories, including that the U.S. “elites” have organised a mass paedophile ring abusing and even murdering children. Politically, it is one of Trump’s mass support groups.
Facebook took down QAnon’s sites, but reported that they had “millions of followers.” The New York Times reports that Trumps supporters have re-established his online presence by other means.
Followers of QAnon are not the only hard white power nationalist supporters of Trump, numbering in the tens of millions who would welcome a military coup to reinstate Trump.
Two days after the rally Flynn spoke at, Trump said he could be reinstalled by August. This is bluster, but part of Trump’s continuing drive to inflame his fol-lowers.
This talk about a possible military coup occurs in the context of the January 6 violent insurrection by white nationalists, organised by Trump, that occupied the U.S. Capitol building while Congress was in session to ratify the results of the 2020 election for president.
Outside the Capitol, there were thousands of supporters cheering them on, calling for “stop the steal” of the election.
The insurrection succeeded in dispersing Congress for hours. The military was an active participant by refusing calls to intervene to stop the invasion of the building for four hours. Even then, it was the Washington D.C. police who finally ended it, with the army playing not much of a role.
The Republicans in Congress succeeded in preventing a proposal to convene a bipartisan committee to study the insurrection, out of fear of Trump.
But even if such a committee were formed, it would have the effect of damping down concern about what the insurrection means for U.S bourgeois democracy (such as it is) for months while it “studied” the issue.
The bipartisan nature of the committee would insure that its results would be a watered down version of reality, which is in the interests of both parties. For the Republicans this is obvious.
Biden has studiously avoided the issue, and never mentions January 6. This indicates what the Democratic establishment’s stance is. Biden wants to assure the world that American bourgeois democracy is not threatened and is just fine.
None of this means that another attempted coup to reinstate Trump is on the cards right now. But January 6 does show that Trump can resort to this again if the right conditions ripen, and he and his supporters, especially in the military, believe it can succeed.
A more immediate threat to bourgeois democracy is what the Trump-controlled Republican Party is doing to curtail the right to vote, which will have an effect on the 2022 Congressional elections.
Polls show that 70 percent of Republicans continue to believe that the elections were stolen from Trump. This mass base is what the Republican politicians at the state level are using to foster the false argument that there is a dire need to prevent “election fraud.”
The U.S. Constitution leaves it up to the states to decide how elections are run and who can vote. In the 80 years of the Jim Crow period of racial segregation and oppression of Blacks in the South [until the 1960s], the right of Blacks to vote was nullified.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution ratified in 1868 during the Re-construction period after the Civil War prohibited denying the right to vote based on race. Not a single Democrat, then the party of the former slave owners, who remained the landlord ruling class in the South, voted for the amendment.
The law was worked around in the Jim Crow South by passing laws and regulations that didn’t mention race but everyone knew nullified the right of Blacks to vote in fact. These were enforced by state and Ku Klux Klan violence, and backed nationally by the Democratic Party.
The current Republican drive is recognised by all Black organisations and commentators, including Black liberals, as a revival of Jim Crow methods to re-strict Black and now also Latino voting rights.
But now they seek to do this not only in the South but in the 26 states where they have control of government.
The Republicans know that Blacks and Latinos (though not all) tend to vote Democrat, so they hope that this will help them win back control in the 2022 elections of the Senate and House. Both are now almost evenly divided between the two capitalist parties.
In themselves, these laws and regulations are an attack on bourgeois democracy.
More important for the longer run is that this drive helps them mobilise their white racist base, which portends more attacks on broader democratic rights.
We should note that both major political parties support white supremacy, or institutionalised racism. From the beginning of the United States, the ruling parties have supported slavery and then capitalism and the national oppression of African Americans. The partial exception was during the short period of Reconstruction 1865 – 1877. This spills over into oppression of other people of colour.
What distinguishes the present-day Republicans is that they are more openly white supremacist and harbour white power nationalism, which seeks to impose white supremacy by force like during the full-blown Jim Crow system of the past.
Donald Trump remains the spokesman and leader of the drive to install a racist, Bonapartist-type dictatorship.