Slow Motion Coup Underway

To the Editor:

Your newspaper deserves credit for publishing news of a prosecutor in New Hampshire recommending 30 days home confinement and 60 hours community service for one of the seditionists who invaded the US Capitol. On January 6th, 2021 they were trying, as Trump had directed them to do to overthrow the government. Their clearly stated intention was to interfere with certification of the Electoral College which was about the final step in President Biden’s election becoming official besides his and Vice President Harris’ swearing in ceremony at the inauguration.

For any prosecutor in this country to minimize the outrageous behavior of those who invaded the US Capitol on January 6th is all the evidence that should ever be needed for such an individual to be permanently disbarred and put into a shameful retirement. The baseline for anyone who crossed the barricades and entered the Capitol on that occasion, or for those such as trump who incited the insurrection, should be a felony conviction and 5 years of hard time in a very unpleasant prison. That is what happens to many if not most people who commit crimes in this country and nearly all of these convicts’ crimes are of far lesser magnitude than that of the man in question from the January 6th goings on, a Mr. Thomas Gallagher.

Gallagher’s pathetic rationalizations for his participation in the attack on the Capitol included that he “had been listening to too much conservative news media during the 2020 Presidential Election.” Now that such nonsense has become a mitigating factor acceptable to prosecutors it certainly sets a dangerous precedent; one that is blatantly anti-intellectual and pro-fascist. Evidently Mr. Gallagher’s claims of naivety in having absorbed excessive volumes of propaganda from the likes of General Flynn, Giuliani, Trump and Tucker Carlson, is very nearly enough to mitigate his participation in the overthrow attempt completely.

At what point are the instigators themselves, several of whom I just named to be brought to justice and imprisoned? Obviously, it is just a matter of prosecutors, Trump administration officials and many in the military having an ideology that is so far to the right that anti-democracy uprisings are secretly held in high regard.

Meanwhile a slow-motion coup is being all but ignored by the news media. Mitch McConnell and his pro-sedition Republican minority in congress are feigning a sense of outrage at the idea of the federal government reasserting control over how elections are held in the 50 states. McConnell and his cronies are dismantling election safeguards on a state by state basis using a wide variety of schemes from their bags of tricks. Basically, they are mighty far into the process of taking away power from voters and leaving the outcomes of upcoming elections in 2024 subject to “interpretation” of the vote totals by carefully selected, generally unelected, anti-democracy pro-Trump hacks in various roles in key states. Alternately any results objectionable to Trumpist election officials will be overturned by state legislators from totally gerrymandered, vote suppressed districts that will have already overturned the will of the people through various procedures.

If democracy will survive the current onslaught we must revoke the FCC licenses of the far-right wing news media. that includes Fox and several other purveyors of anti-democracy misinformation. By the prosecutor accepting the excuse from defendant Gallagher that he had been excessively influenced by “conservative news media” the prosecution is tacitly admitting that certain stations (masquerading as news outlets) are destabilizing our survival as a nation where government decisions reflect the will of the people. FOX and the others are not news channels. Again and again they contaminate the airwaves and people’s minds with (most likely Kremlin inspired) propaganda intended to humiliate this country and bring about a South African style apartheid government of minority white, rural, right wing extremists perpetuating authoritarian decision making upon a much more diverse population starkly opposed to how they are running the government.

After the 2024 Presidential election I can almost guarantee your readers that there will be protests at the United States Capitol, but at that time the people there will be airing highly legitimate fact based grievances against the usurpation of power taking place during this slow motion coup carried forward a little bit each day by Trump and what is still referred to by some as the Republican Party. The slow motion coup leaders will be despised and hated by those who understand what democracy is and why it has been yearned for and held in such high regard since the concept of democracy first began to evolve around 2500 years ago in ancient Greece.

For democracy,

Bill Coleman

Newark, Vt.

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