That one word has become the favorite slogan of leftists following Donald Trump’s electoral victory, and it has only increased in usage since The Washington Post’s Friday report on CIA claims the Russian hacked emails to help the current president-elect win.
The most hysterical expression of this sentiment from a major public figure came from one Keith Olbermann Monday. The former primetime cable host launched into a tirade on his GQ YouTube video show — straight from a rickety basement set with subpar audio — about how the Russians now effectively control the United States government.
“We are at war with Russia or perhaps more correctly we have lost a war with Russia without a battle. We are no longer a sovereign nation, we are no longer a free people, we are victims of a bloodless coup,” Olbermann exhorted.
The barely relevant liberal pundit then went into detail on the allegations that the Russians hacked the election, before veering off into a totally unhinged rant about how America will no longer have future elections due to alleged Vladimir Putin stooge Donald Trump.
“The nation and all of our freedoms hang by a thread, and the military apparatus of this country is about to be handed over to scum who are beholden to scum — Russian scum!” Olbermann sputtered. “As things stand today January 20th will not be an inauguration, but rather the end of the United States as an independent country.”
“It will not be a peaceful change of power — it will be a usurpation. And the usurper has no validity, no credibility and no authority under the Constitution. This is a reality, and this will be the only reality until this country rids itself of Donald John Trump! He is not a president — he is a puppet, put in power by Vladimir Putin!” he continued in a shrieky tone.
“And those who ignore these elemental, existential facts — Democrats or Republicans — are traitors to this country and will immediately and forever after be held accountable. Resist!” he hysterically concluded.
The unhinged rant from a formerly influential cable host should have been seen as the visualization of his sad decline. Instead, it was greeted by some media heavyweights, like CNN’s resident fake news hunter Brian Stelter, as a powerful declaration of truth. (RELATED: FREAK OUT: Journalists Declare ‘Emergency,’ ‘War’ Following Russian Hacking Reports)
While Olbermann’s descent into madness may have been the most unhinged of responses by a major figure to the Russian hack report, its spirit is in keeping with the preference for revolutionary rhetoric among the urban elite.
Liberal D.C.-based non-profits, such as Think Progress, have created “Resist” efforts to thwart the incoming Trump administration. Former presidential candidate Evan McMullin has emerged as the favorite conservative of liberals for his daily Twitter insinuations that Trump is a traitor in bed with the Russians, which usually earn thousands of retweets and likes from his new fans. On Saturday, McMullin said citizens should view Trump as a disloyal American and act accordingly.
The White House publicly declared on Wednesday that Trump knew Russia was helping him out in the election, which casts a pretty big shadow on the next president. (RELATED: White House: ‘Ample Evidence’ Trump Knew About And Encouraged Russian Election Hacking)
Additionally, there’s the massive push — both through intimidation and polite persuasion — to get members of the Electoral College to change their votes to stop Trump’s inauguration. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne endorsed the idea Wednesday of electors refusing to vote for Trump and instead pick someone who did not win the election — because the president-elect threatens our institutions. And a bunch of random celebrities made a video plea to electors to “vote their conscience” and stop the Trump menace. (RELATED: Angry Celebrities Call For Electoral College Coup Against Donald Trump)
All this rhetoric certainly sows serious doubt about American institutions and American democracy. Before he won the election, liberals were quick to scream how Trump was undermining our country’s valued institutions with talks of a rigged election.
Now liberals claim they are defending American democracy… by spouting statements that undermine those very same institutions.
Of course people were going to be greatly disappointed no matter who won the election, but the insane rhetoric coming from many prominent liberals — tinged with the implications for the necessity of a coup — is unprecedented in recent American history.
Olbermann himself is likely articulating the unsaid feelings of the center-left faithful in a way Glenn Beck did when he said Barack Obama doesn’t like white people in 2009. Other prominent figures won’t say it, but a quick perusal of the replies to McMullin’s tweets show a large number of folks who seriously believe America has been conquered by a hostile foreign power and there needs to some kind of radical action to stop it.
A serious violent insurrection or coup attempt against Trump is incredibly unlikely in the near future. The thought that the same people needing therapy to cope with Trump’s win are going to somehow team up with the CIA to forcefully unseat the Republican is laughable.
But the sheer fact that Olbermann’s rhetoric has become both popular and respectable shows how the Left is going to handle the next four years. Every scandal, action and legislative proposal will be treated as that of a Russian puppet hellbent on destroying the Republic. Compromising with him will mark you as a traitor. His successes will be counted as another step towards fascism.
The urban elite hoped for America to reconcile with itself after the election and heal the wounds of 2016. Now those wounds are only getting worse as Trump prepares to take office thanks to the efforts of the country’s disgruntled elite.
Some may be inclined to see these rants as not serious, but public figures openly declaring the president is controlled by “Russian scum” has consequences. It delegitimizes the presidency. It delegitimizes the very foundations our country rest upon. Most of all, it delegitimizes any claims that we are all united in one country and accept the principles by which we are governed.
At some point, these calls to resist are going to be more than the rants of a washed-up cable host in a ramshackle studio. People will be more serious about it when Trump begins enacting legislation the chattering class deems racist.
Unless a miracle happens, the Left is going to spend the next four years attacking America’s institutions as inherently tainted by Putin/Trump/white supremacy/toxic masculinity/etc. The Left is going to become radicalized to the point of viewing the government like the John Birch Society once did, in that its controlled by the sinister leaders of Russia. This gives the opportunity to secessionist movements, like Calexit, to gain followers among disenchanted progressives, as well for those who advocate for violence to achieve political goals.
If we had a sensible elite, the calls for coups and Bircher accusations of Russian would be denounced just as strongly by the press as the “pizzagate” conspiracy theory. Instead, they encourage these crackpot fantasies at the risk of ripping apart our national fabric.
A grim consequence of Trump’s election could be the transformation of the U.S. from one nation living together in relative harmony to a land of multiple tribes fighting tooth and nail to take hold of state power. Institutions are not great pillars that keep us together, but levers of the government machine to be wielded freely to benefit the tribe in power.
Which bodes ill for the republic, for how can a democracy survive when half of its participants refuse to accept its results?