Sobre a destruição da democracia nos EUA e no Brasil: um projeto ainda em curso
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
O plano trumpista para destruir a democracia americana – pela submissão do Congresso e pela manipulação do processo eleitoral – foi seguido quase ipsis litteris pelo seu imitador, adorador, seguidor fiel (mas um pouco mais imbecil) do Brasil, com as diferenças aplicáveis a dois sistemas político-partidários e eleitorais bastante diferentes.
Ambos não conseguiram realizar o seu intento, inclusive porque as instituições dos dois países dificultaram esses intentos respectivos, mas o americano esteve muito mais longe desse objetivo do que o brasileiro, por um motivo muito simples: as FFAA americanas são muito menos manipuláveis do que são as brasileiras (que foram praticamente compradas pelo candidato a ditador, mas os comandantes das três forças, e o próprio ministro MILITAR da Defesa concluíram que não tinham condições, nem motivos, para seguir o tresloucado).
O que não impede que ambos, Trump nos EUA, Bozo no Brasil, disponham, cada um, de uma base social e eleitoral respeitável, com a diferença que Trump praticamente domou o Partido Republicano e o tem a seu serviço, com alguns poucos dissidentes, ao passo que o seguidor tupiniquim foi domado pelas forças mais corruptas e venais do establishment político e não tem nenhum partido a seu serviço, mas se se serve deles irrigando seus aparentes apoiadores com toneladas de dinheiro público que aqui no Brasil parece ser mais fácil de desviar do que nos EUA.
Trump nos EUA e Bozo no Brasil gostariam de decretar fechamento do Congresso, para governar por decretos, ignorando eleições e eleitores, mas as instituições atuaram como contrapesos e vetaram essa via destruidora.
Mas ambas democracias permanecem frágeis e fragilizadas, pela ação corruptora dos dois grandes mentecaptos que empolgaram as duas nações, respectivamente em 2016 e em 2018, o que também é uma tendência em outras democracias avançadas, nas quais também se observa um eleitorado ignorante disposto a seguir populistas mentirosos – como Trump, Bozo, Modi, Orban, Erdogan, Salvini, Duterte, AMLO e muitos outros, vários que ainda são candidatos, inclusive na França – na ilusão de solucionar problemas corriqueiros da vida nacional: inflação, desemprego, desigualdades persistentes, insegurança civil, supostas ameaças externas (representadas por potências estrangeiras, imigrantes ilegais, terroristas fanáticos, etc.) e persistência de velhos problemas internos, entre eles frustrações individuais.
A democracia é um regime aborrecido e demorado, daí que os insatisfeitos queiram resolver esses problemas com alguém que se apresenta como o "solucionador" eventual: Make America Great Again, família, religião, propriedade, ordem, segurança, e o que mais existir como promessa fácil.
A única solução duradoura é a educação e a capacitação produtiva de todos os cidadãos, o que nem sempre é fácil, dada a conhecida fórmula econômica de desejos ilimitados e recursos limitados.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Brasília, 4044: 13 dezembro 2021, 2 p.
I know, I know. It sounds like the bad season finale of a worse TV show. “The plot to destroy American democracy.” And yet here we are. It turns out that not only was there one, it was way, way worse than the average person or pundit believed…even at the time…while Trumpists were storming Congress…and killing people…one that was every bit as over the top and unhinged as us scholars and survivors of authoritarianism warned of.
I bring all that up because Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff, is the latest such figure in the Congressional Investigation’s crosshairs. He’s refused to testify. And then a presentation by him got leaked. And…whew. If you haven’t read it yet, prepare to have your breath taken away.
The presentation goes like this. It’s entitled “Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 Jan.” As in…“options”…for the date…the Presidential Vote was to be certified by Congress…for Biden. If this is already sounding vaguely menacing, just wait.
It sketches out a conspiracy theory — of a truly insane and ludicrous kind. “The Chinese systematically gained control over our election system constituting a national security emergency. The electronic voting machines were compromised and cannot be trusted to provide an accurate vote count. To restore confidence the “failsafe” of counting the paper ballots must be used to determine who won the election for President, Senators, Congressional Representatives. Hand counts reported by the media are not really hand counts and easily subverted.”
The bolding’s mine. You can already see where this is heading.
Why the need for a conspiracy theory? Well, because, the presentation, aka Mark Meadows, the President’s Chief of Staff, continues: “Donald J. Trump was winning by a significant margin across all key states. Nov 3 evening, a massive spike occurred that favored Joe Biden and exceeded the counting capabilities that were on hand in many cases.”
It must be the Chinese! Of course not. This sketchy “analysis” just cherry-picks data. The presentation goes on to show a few pages of charts…with minor upticks for Biden. The same was true for Trump, too, where counties and cities leaned heavily for him. It’s just selection bias of the most obvious and egregious kind. For example: “FiveThirtyEight told Reuters that it is not true that Biden received all the votes in the overnight dump: “these batches were NOT 100% Biden votes; behind the blue line, there is also a red line representing the thousands of votes Trump gained. There are also counter examples, where Trump’s line shoots up suddenly when a favorable batch of results are reported.” But this is hardly about science. It’s about…stopping an election.
This is all a setup, of course — a pretext and a justification. For what? We’re getting there. But let’s keep going with the conspiracy theory. Not just because it’s entertaining, but because it’s a vivid demonstration of how completely crazy and malicious Trump and his ilk really are.
Who gets involved next in this erstwhile plot, according to Meadows? Well, it can’t be Putin, since he was busy installing Trump to power and keeping him there. North Korea? Iran? Close. You guessed it, Venezuela. LOL.
“China has leveraged financial, non-governmental and foreign allies including Venezuela to acquire INFLUENCE and CONTROL US Voting Infrastructure in at least 28 States.”
Remember for a moment…this is the White House Chief of Staff. Espousing by now what are obviously completely loony theories with no substantive evidence of any kind. How could there be? Are you kidding me? Venezuela can barely feed itself. It’s not exactly the kind of nation that can influence or control much of anything.
But all this, remember, is just an obvious pretext and justification. China and Venezuela. Together. They’ve stolen America’s election. They’re the ones who’ve thwarted Donald Trump. Why? Wait for it…because this part might just make you splutter out your coffee in laughter.
China and Venezuela are part of “an ongoing globalist/socialist operation to subvert the will of United States Voters.”
Funny? Hilarious. But also see how weirdly sinister that is. If you don’t vote Trump, you’re not really a “United States Voter”….you’re part of a “globalist/socialist operation.” That’s the only way anyone but Trump could really have won — because “real” Americans only vote one way, apparently, or else. Or else what? They’re not real Americans to begin with. Hmm, sounds a lot like the way Putin gets 99% of the vote.
Who stole the election from Trump? Wait for it…a nefarious and shady spy operation run by some group, even more powerful than America, known as…“global socialism”…did. Apparently, Karl Marx is alive and well, or maybe directing the operation from his grave in Highgate. Who is “global socialism,” anyways? Well, it’s Venezuela and China — because it can’t be France and Denmark, who are pretty damned socialist…but they’re.…wait for it again…too white.
Come now. We all know there’s no “global socialism.” There’s no council, no ministry, no spy agency. It doesn’t exist as an entity, institution, force, even politics anymore, except maybe outside grubby college shared houses.
Yet here we are — right, LOL, back at the boogeymen of the Cold War. Socialism! The red menace! And it leads to totally bizarre places. Way back when, the Soviet Union was scary and backwards. Now? Well, to invoke the scare of the red menace, Meadows has to dream up China and Venezuela getting together to thwart American democracy. Even James Bond movies would turn down such a ridiculous comedy cartoon villain on grounds of implausibility. Meanwhile, Russia, which actually did help install Trump, isn’t, conveniently, part of the picture.
It’s already, I grant you, absurd, hilarious, ridiculous, idiotic, crazy.
And now it’s about to get scary.
Because having frantically laid out his ludicrous pretext — Biden only won because of a global socialist plot, and real Americans only vote for Trump — Meadows now rises, hysterically, to his conclusion.
“ — Declare National Security Emergency
— Foreign influence and control of electronic voting systems
— Declare electronic voting in all states invalid”
Did you get that? Trump’s Chief of Staff was laying out a pretext for him to declare Martial Law. To declare a “national security emergency” and then to “declare” all electronic votes — every single one — invalid.
What was to happen next? A recount. Of only paper ballots.
Run by the military and law enforcement.
“A Trusted Lead Counter will be appointed with authority from the POTUS to direct the actions of select federalized National Guard units and support from DOJ, DHS and other US government agencies as needed to complete a recount of the legal paper ballots for the federal elections in all 50 states.
US Marshals will immediately secure all ballots and provide a protective perimeter around the locations in all 50 states.
- DHS will use their emergency response logistic capabilities to support the effort. They will integrate the IT support that will include separating out the legal from the counterfeit ballots and communications with all supporting the effort and cameras (Possibly cell phones) imaging each and every ballot. These images will be distributed to the Internet.
- The federalized National Guard in each state will be supplied detailed processes and be responsible for counting each legitimate paper ballot. Teams made up of three (first couple counties will be five) National Guard members will do the counting. As the counting occurs each ballot will be imaged and the images placed on the Internet so any US citizen can view them and count the ballots themselves. The process will be completely transparent.”
Now we’ve come to a territory so insane, so baffling, that it’s even beyond most failed states.
What Meadows is recommending here is that martial law — as in the military — be used to direct a democratic process. But obviously, such a process has no democratic legitimacy to begin with. We don’t involve the military in elections in democracies for a very good reason, because that would immediately disqualify any electoral result to begin with. The military, too, doesn’t often want to get involved with democratic processes for just that reason. Meadows appears to not even be aware of the most basic principles of civil jurisprudence and martial law both.
Even in failed states, this kind of bizarre situation rarely comes to pass. An “election”…run by the military? LOL — everyone would instantly know it was a sham. That’s how you get to places like “99% of Russia always votes for Putin!”…precisely because democratic processes have no integrity exactly since they’re under the control of the military and law enforcement. In other words, the men with guns run the elections — not the people.
Meadows finishes with this final set of recommendations, which are the “options” for 6th Jan:
“VP Pence seats Republican Electors over the objections of Democrats in states where fraud occurred
▪ VP Pence rejects the electors from States where fraud occurred causing the election to be decided by remaining electoral votes
- VP Pence delays the decision in order to allow for a vetting and subsequent counting of the all the legal paper ballots”
Now we are beginning to know the whole story. It goes like this.
Trump and seniormost team really were drafting a plan — an insane and ludicrous plan — to overturn the election. It relied on a baffling, bizarre, comedic conspiracy theory — China and Venezuela were just one part of a “global socialist” plan to “subvert the will of the United States Voter.” They stole the election, and that’s how Biden won. As a result, Trump would declare a national security emergency, all electronic ballots — all of them — would be thrown out, and paper ballots, which of course leaned for Trump, would be “recounted” under martial law.
It’s worth saying: this is exactly what us survivors and scholars of authoritarian collapse — and maybe, probably you — were warning of at the time. Martial law. A pretext to declare the election invalid and overturn it.
The reality, it turns out, is even stranger than the fiction. There really was a plot — and it was way, way worse than anytime much at the time knew or believed.
So why didn’t it come to pass?
Because of what happened on Jan 6th. It seems Pence refused. I’m not saying that Pence saved America — sorry, no, he helped get it to that point. The Trumpists who stormed Congress, ironically, may have made it impossible for Trump’s plan to go according to plan. They went too far — or they didn’t go far enough. They didn’t intimidate Pence into going along with the plan. They drew too much attention to the idea that democracy could fall. The nation’s eyes suddenly opened up.
And the Trumpists had to retreat. On that fateful day, though, American democracy really did almost fall.
We knew it in a different way: the Trumpists stormed Congress, shed blood for the first time since the war of 1812, smeared faeces all over the walls…and came within a hairs’ breadth of massacring those counting and certifying the election for Biden. If they’d done that? Trump probably would have gone on full on with the plan.
Which plan? The plan to declare martial law because of a fake “national security emergency” and overturn the election. The plan anyone sane could have seen even without the PowerPoint above.
Every day, we’re learning how much closer America really came to losing democracy on Jan 6th. Now we know it wasn’t just about the Trumpists almost massacring those counting the vote. It was a plot much, much worse than that. It was about literally declaring martial law to overturn the election.
Only two things stood in its way — the Vice President, and America’s apathetic acceptance of it. Neither one of those happened. The storming of Congress made America wake up — and it made it, enough of it, anyways, feel ashamed, angry, and alert. And the VP didn’t go along with the plan. So the plan didn’t come to fruition.
But America came this close. This close. A baby’s breath.
To a President declaring martial law over a fake “national security emergency” to overturn an election.
Think about that. Really think about it. Because the truth is that they haven’t stopped. They have only gotten smarter. For the bad guys, Jan 6th was a warm-up, a trial-run, mere preparation.
Now we know. American democracy really did almost collapse. In the most spectacular way imaginable. Like in the plot of a bad movie. Like at the hands of authoritarians and fascists ready to declare martial law and use real military force to end the project of self-determination and self-governance for good.
And we know why Trump’s top henchmen are “refusing” to testify before Congress — as if that was some kind of perfectly normal option. The reason is that they’re damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. If they don’t, they’re in contempt, if they do…well, unless they want to perjure themselves…the truth, which is almost comedically horrifying, speaks for itself.