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Nevada Today

Nevada Today is a nonpartisan, independently owned and operated site dedicated to providing up-to-date news and smart analysis on the issues that impact Nevada's communities and businesses.

2020 ElectionEditorialsInsurrectionNews and informationViolence

Yes, This Coup Is Really Happening.

Donald Trump, COVID-19, coup, impeachment, democracy

We warned you about this coup. More importantly, a lot of smart experts on authoritarianism warned America for years. We are living through a coup, and the only way we will survive it and save our democracy is by exposing the ugly truth that was hiding behind the pretty veneer the whole damned time.

5:50 PM UPDATE: Horsford calls for Trump’s impeachment following today’s coup attempt

Let’s see if others in the Nevada delegation follow suit.

“At this hour, our democracy is under assault.” 
– President-elect Joe Biden

A little earlier, President-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation from Wilmington, Delaware. He declared, “At this hour, our democracy is under assault. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. […] This is not a protest. This is an insurrection.”

He later added, “Enough is enough is enough.”

Today is supposed to be the day when Congress formally accepts the Electoral College results and makes the new presidency 100% official. So far, it looks like Congress will eventually return to accepting the Electoral College results. But right now, they’re still sheltering in place amidst the pro-Trump militias’ incursion into the United States Capitol.

Once more, we have the receipts. This coup never should have been minimized or laughed off.
Cliven Bundy, center, Photo by Andrew Davey

Just two days ago, we warned of the very real danger of outgoing President Donald Trump’s attempt to execute a coup d’etat. For the last two years, we’ve been warning of the consequences of Trump’s quest to amass more power for himself. For much longer, experts on democracy and authoritarianism have been warning of the consequences of allowing Trump to illegally amass more power for himself.

Going back even further, my colleague Mike McGreer and many more good friends in the Virgin Valley have been warning of the consequences of Cliven Bundy, his sons, and their allied militias getting away with their April 2014 “range war” against the rule of law. We’ve also documented how this “range war” metastasized two months later, when two “Bundy Ranch” graduates assassinated Las Vegas Metro Police Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo along with Joseph Robert Wilcox, the armed civilian who tried to stop the assassins. Extreme-right militias have only grown more powerful and dangerous since then.

As we’ve continued to document throughout our “Web of Hate” series, what seemed like mere “shitposting” on the surface hid a far more sinister purpose underneath. What was once minimized as a “movement for ethics in gaming journalism”, a “protest against cancel culture”, and a “repudiation of the attacks on ‘law and order’” never should have been minimized to begin with. You can never say we did not warn you.

Too little, too late
Mark Amodei, Donald Trump, coup
Photo by Andrew Davey

Earlier today, Rep. Mark Amodei tweeted, “History made today for all the wrong reasons. Shameful. All our Washington staff are safe.” At least he finally condemned the coup today, but why didn’t he speak up when other Nevada Republicans attacked Barbara Cegavske, our Republican Secretary of State, and other Nevada election officials?

Contrary to what Amodei had claimed and Trump’s local coup squad have lied about for the last three months, AB 4 perfectly conforms to prior Nevada state law, and multiple state and federal courts have upheld Nevada’s election system as completely legal and valid. Vote-by-mail, in-person early voting, ballot curing, provisional ballots, and same-day registration existed prior to Governor Steve Sisolak (D) signing AB 4 into law. And ever since November 3, 2020, no one has found any valid evidence of any “fraud” that could invalidate any of our election results.

It was already alarming when Cegavske’s fellow Republicans began turning on her for simply telling the truth about the election. It was even more alarming when outgoing President Donald Trump tried to bribe several Michigan Republicans into overturning the election results in that state. It was even more alarming when pro-Trump Republicans elsewhere tried (and failed) to coerce Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) into helping Trump commit election fraud. Why did so many of our so-called “elected leaders” allow our democracy to fall into this potential death spiral?

Now that the coup is happening, can we finally begin saving our democracy from those foreign and domestic enemies?

We can not say this enough: This is anything but “unforeseen”. Many of us saw this coming from thousands of miles away. The warning signs were all over the internet. All we had to do was check the usual QAnon accounts to learn what would eventually unfold today.

Apparently, Congress will eventually return to finishing the last formal step that will guarantee Joe Biden’s presidency beginning January 20. But again, Trump’s coup never should have been allowed to proceed all the way into the U.S. Capitol building.

As I write this, I’m trying to hold back the tears. I don’t know why I’m holding back my tears. Many of the very people who attacked the Black Lives Matter movement for their call to “defund the police” are now attacking police officers. Never again do I want to hear anyone condemn any black and/or brown civil rights activist for working to save our democracy, and never again do I want to hear anyone “whitewash” this coup into something other than what it actually is. As Donald Trump himself once said, “It is what it is.” We must not allow this coup to succeed, and we must never take our democracy for granted.

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