I’ve had this discussion with friends and family, but it’s time for the conversation to become mainstream.
I am not a conspiracy theorist, but make no mistake; if you wanted to set the stage for a soft-coup in a democracy, this is what you would do:
Sew distrust in National Law Enforcement and Lawmaking institutions: DOJ, FBI, CIA, NSA; and Congress
Sew distrust in the media.
Create an ‘Us against Them’ mentality; with Us being a ‘Cult of Personality’, Them being ‘All of the Above.’
The goal is to get a significant portion of the population to believe that ‘All of the Above’ has nefarious motives, that no one but ‘Cult Personality’ is willing to tell the truth, no matter how outlandish ‘Personality’s’ pronouncements.
This is accomplished by repeating over and over not just derogatory things about those who disagree with Personality, not just by contradicting ‘All of the Above’, but first by calling them liars and fakes, then moving on to claims that ‘All of the Above’ are actually dangerous, that only Personality can be trusted.
People who crave power are drawn to Personality; they seek out government positions and elected office. They adopt Personality’s language.
Personality cultivates loyalty in some percentage of the military and local law enforcement. It doesn’t have to be a majority, only visible and vocal.
Once the populace is sufficiently divided, Personality creates a crisis.
The crisis could be an international military threat, but Personality is more likely to succeed if the threat is perceived as internal, while holding an international threat in a back pocket.
Personality claims internal opponents want to take over the country, deprive the populace of their freedom, their livelihood.
Personality encourages those won over by rhetoric and demagoguery to engage in paramilitary behavior; thuggery, mob violence. Some sensational event occurs. Supporters rise up against the ‘enemies of the people,’ creating a volatile internal condition. Personality refuses to condemn the violence, blames opponents. It is unclear if Personality has adopted supporters’ language or vice-versa.
Absolute Power is needed; Marshall Law, restrictions on the press, suspension of checks and balances. Personality has only the people’s best interests at heart, is the only one who can protect the people, and is making great personal sacrifice for the good of the people. Personality assures Absolute Power will be voluntarily relinquished once the crisis is over.
“You can trust me,” Personality says. “I’ve always done what I said I was going to do.”
History shows that the percentage of the populace needed to accomplish a ‘soft-coup’ is not a majority. In the most glaring example accomplished in the last century “Cult Personality’ took power with about one-third of the vote.
It is important, given current rhetoric in the US, the possibiity of a soft-coup gets widely discussed, so IF a crisis is created, it can be recognized for what it is.