So what happens next? Now that the coup has failed, do we return to regularly scheduled programming?
First, let's be clear. The coup has not failed, it has been rescheduled. History shows us these first attempts at coups are just that, the first of more to come. Just as we tell a woman who has been hit by her partner for the first time that it isn't going to stop, we must acknowledge this violence is only going to escalate. Of course this isn't the first time in the last four years that Lady Liberty has been violated. Children are still separated from their parents and Flint still doesn't have drinking water.
Sadly, and gratefully, we can look to histories of failed coup attempts to see what happens next. Either we devolve immediately into the civil war being called for by the American fascists, or we wait for them to regroup and try their next attempt.
Let's be clear, there will be another shot at this. This was a rehearsal, an opportunity to identify the flexure and breaking points, identify unknown allies, test linguistics. Germany wasn't overtaken by the Nazis on the first try. The majority of Germans didn't support the Nazis. Still, they managed to break the country using pure and simple fear. These are the time-worn tactics of bullies.
The good news... bullies play to an audience. The attention they get, positive or negative, gives them a sense of power. It is their oxygen. The best ways to beat them is to cut off their oxygen supply. The kids who stood around and cheered the bully in grade school did so because it gave them a sense of referred power. Remove that power from the bully and those fans start looking for another power source to leech from. The minute you pacify a bully you lose.
So how to do we cut off the current president's oxygen supply (Dear Secret Service... I only mean this metaphorically (I think))? Social media organizations have begun the process, and that's good, but what can we ordinary folks do? Here's an allegory:
Question: A group of violent giants stand atop a mountain, surveying everything around them, threatening to kill anyone who approaches. They have fought their way to the top, and bodies are scattered all along every side of the mountain. How can they possibly be defeated?
In short: build tunnels. Wherever you may be, find inroads and build tunnels.
Welcome! I am an essayist, poet, and facilitator, passionate about social justice and integrity, who lives and works in the Pacific Northwest. These observations are based on a lifetime working in the private and non-profit sectors, in a variety of organizational development capacities.