Michael Clifford: Trump took it to the brink but backed off because he's a coward

On Wednesday, Donald Trump attempted his own coup in the USA’s seat of power. 
Michael Clifford: Trump took it to the brink but backed off because he's a coward

Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

There was a certain element of 'bringing it all back home' to the scenes in Washington. 

A strongman leader attempted to turn democracy on its head. He incited violence among his followers, peddling a narrative in which he is being oppressed by nefarious forces. He purported to stand for “the people”. 

He cast himself, by dint of his personality and character, as the “real leader” of the country. He inferred that it was the responsibility of the people to now fully assert that status on his behalf. 

The enemies of the people must be defeated by any means necessary. Such a narrative is alien to most Americans but will be instantly recognisable to personnel in the CIA. 

Through the twentieth century, the world’s leading democracy often looked after its interests around the globe by suppressing democracy abroad. 

Whether it was in Latin America, or corners of Africa or Asia, the Americans were dab hands at subverting the will of various peoples in order to install a "friendly regime".

Frequently, the CIA and its proxies did what had to be done in order to install their favoured candidate in power. Whoever had to be killed was killed.

Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by US Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber in Washington. Trump followers who are conditioned to believe that the great leader hasn’t got feet of clay but is possessed of superhuman powers. Photo: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta
Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by US Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber in Washington. Trump followers who are conditioned to believe that the great leader hasn’t got feet of clay but is possessed of superhuman powers. Photo: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Whatever election had to be suppressed was duly rearranged to provide the correct result. And if all else failed, the last resort was the plain old coup.

On Wednesday, Donald Trump attempted his own coup in the USA’s seat of power. 

Last November’s election result was not the correct one for him. He attempted to have the ballots doctored, as recently as the weekend, when he threatened officials in Georgia to rearrange the outcome. 

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on Wednesday in Washington when he attempted to turn democracy on its head. Photo: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on Wednesday in Washington when he attempted to turn democracy on its head. Photo: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

And when that didn’t work, he reverted to violence, although contrary to his pledge earlier in the day, he didn’t lead his followers up the steps of the Capitol.

The parallels with what America exported and what occurred this week in Washington are uncanny, right down to the progeny of the strongman. As with, for instance, Saddam Hussain, once a favoured puppet of the CIA, Mr Trump has at his side a pair of dim-witted sons who are pale shadows of himself.

Earlier in the week, both Don Jnr and Eric Trump were deployed to issue threats to those who would dare oppose big daddy.

On Tuesday, Eric told Fox News that the cowards who didn’t step forward to impose his father’s will would pay a price.

“Tomorrow’s gonna tell you a lot about the country,” Eric told host Sean Hannity.

Because I can tell you Sean, any senator or any congressman who does not fight tomorrow, their political career is over. Because the MAGA movement is going nowhere.

He went on to say that his father had created “the greatest movement in American history”.

Then on Wednesday, at a rally in Washington before the followers stormed the Capitol building, Don Jnr laid it on the line.

“It should be a message to all Republicans who have not been willing to actually fight. The people who did nothing to stop the steal. This gathering should send a message to them.

“This isn’t the Republican party anymore. This is Donald Trump’s Republican party. If you’re gonna be the zero and not the hero, we’re coming for you and we’re going to have a good time doing it.” 

People listen as Donald Trump Jr. speaks on Wednesday in Washington. Earlier in the week, both Don Jnr and Eric Trump were deployed to issue threats to those who would dare oppose big daddy. Photo: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
People listen as Donald Trump Jr. speaks on Wednesday in Washington. Earlier in the week, both Don Jnr and Eric Trump were deployed to issue threats to those who would dare oppose big daddy. Photo: AP/Jacquelyn Martin

Neither Don Jnr nor Eric have ever as much as put their names on a ballot for a town council. Their wealth and status are largely attributable to their father, whose business dealings are currently being investigated for possible criminal and tax offences. 

They are not answerable to the people, yet they feel entitled to threaten elected politicians who refuse to bow before their father’s delusions.

Naturally, the Trump heirs were nowhere to be seen when the violence got underway, not unlike Saddam’s sons Uday and Qusay who fled Baghdad during the Iraq war, rather than stand with the underlings who did the fighting for them.

Then you have the followers, conditioned to believe that the great leader hasn’t got feet of clay but is possessed of superhuman powers. 

When the CIA was in its pomp, disseminating propaganda was handled through control of national media, and even as crudely as airdrops of leaflets proclaiming the virtues of the chosen one.

In the time of Trump, Facebook and Twitter obliged with spreading the lies. 

As reported by CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan from the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday: “Their failure to act on hate speech and conspiracy theories online…We’re seeing the result of that playing out on the streets here in the nation’s capital. Here is the harm, the harm of conspiracy, the harm of lies, the harm of people living online in these Trump echo chambers. They are so deluded.” 

Andy Kim cleans up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early hours of Thursday after the storming of the Capitol in Washington. Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik
Andy Kim cleans up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early hours of Thursday after the storming of the Capitol in Washington. Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik

Fortunately, this very American coup wasn’t successful. Trump took it to the brink, but ultimately he backed off, not because of any scruples, but because he is a coward who has never had to take a stand on anything.

If this were a CIA operation, he would now be regarded as damaged goods, no longer useful to their purpose. 

He would be quietly taken away to be terminated, or thrown into some filthy prison to be forgotten.

He can be grateful that notwithstanding his attempts to bring a coup back home to America, the country still retains some fidelity to the institutions and checks and balances of an established democracy. Within its borders, at any rate.

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