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Call it a Stealth Coup

Leonard Pitts Jr., Tribune Content Agency on

What if the coup already came and nobody noticed?

It sounds nonsensical, yes. How does a coup go unnoticed? The conventional wisdom, as we learn more about the election of 2020 and the insurrection of 2021, is that by the machinations of Ginni Thomas, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump and others, America came thisclose to suffering an extralegal seizure of power, but escaped.

However, an argument can be made that another kind of coup — call it a stealth coup — has actually been under way for years. What is a stealth coup? That would be a coup that sneaks up on you, that isn’t obvious at first, because it slowly destroys not form but function. This one has overthrown not the government but, rather, one of its core tenets: the idea that government is answerable to the will of the governed.

That’s something this one often is not.

Consider the ongoing push by Republican lawmakers to restrict abortion, LGBTQ rights and the teaching of African-American history, while making it harder to access the ballot and easier to access guns. And then consider this: None of that represents the will of the American people. That’s something you won’t often hear from news media, with our reflexive curtsy at the altar of both-sideism, but it happens to be true.

Abortion? A 2021 Pew Research Center poll finds that most Americans support it.

 

LGBTQ rights? A 2021 Gallup poll finds that most Americans are fine with them.

African-American history? A 2022 CBS News poll finds that most Americans think teaching it is useful.

The ballot? A 2020 poll by Northeastern, Northwestern, Rutgers and Harvard universities finds that most Americans believe the last election was secure.

Guns? A 2020 Gallup poll finds that most Americans want stricter laws.

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