Former national security advisor and confessed felon Michael Flynn tweeted his support for a manifesto that had been published as a full-page ad in the Washington Times.
This ad, by the “We The People Convention,” is one of the most unhinged statements ever embraced by anyone close to power in America. It’s sedition.
What is sedition? “Conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.” It’s literally an invitation to stage a coup — and this ad fits the definition precisely.
Deconstructing the seditious manifesto
As loathe as I am to give any further airtime to such claptrap, it’s worth a close look to see how conspiracy theorists weave errors of logic, errors of fact, and overreaction into a call for the overthrow of the government.
These are excerpts. You can read the whole thing here, although I don’t recommend it.
Exercising Extraordinary Authority in Defense of Our Vote May be Required because Martial Law is better than Civil War!
Truth in advertising — the manifesto calls for martial law (with random capitalization.)
In the months following the start of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln struggled to preserve the Union. Many objected to Lincoln’s extraordinary use of Presidential authority . . .
The manifesto starts by citing a series of actions by Lincoln in 1863. As you may recall from your history classes, an actual civil war was going on at the time. While there is certainly unrest in 2020, protests and isolated incidents don’t add up to civil war.
In any case, it’s a terrible way to start, in that it doesn’t get to the point. (The point, in this case, is that the author wants martial law and a do-over of the 2020 election.)
Today, the current threat to our United States by the international and domestic socialist/communist left is much more serious than anything Lincoln or our nation has faced in its history – including the civil war.
We have well-funded, armed and trained marxists in ANTIFA and BLM strategically positioned in our major cities acting openly with violence to silence opposition to their anti-American agenda. Attacking federal buildings and police, cowardly punching innocent people in the back of the head, assaulting people just eating in restaurants, and burning minority-owned businesses to the ground. All with elected officials in Democrat/Socialist-controlled cities openly encouraging this planned violence against civilians and businesses. Then, to advance their cause, these socialists are acting to “Defund the Police,” creating chaos and suspending the rule of law that protects millions of average, and particularly minority, Americans. The results being massive increases in violent crime and deaths in our cities and the destruction of small businesses orchestrated by those politicians and leftist groups, many funded by domestic and international communists. We are literally under attack from within!
Are they Marxists?
Are they “strategically positioned” in our major cities? How many cities? When was the last time you heard about one of these protests?
Are Democrats and Socialists equivalent? Ask a socialist — they’ll tell you Democrats aren’t even close to believing in what they want.
Are elected officials encouraging violence? I’ve seen no evidence of that.
Have any police been defunded? Where?
Crime is down. There are no massive increases.
Where is the evidence of funding of protests by “domestic and international communists?”
This justification is a bunch of distorted and made-up crap assembled to create fear. There is no proof of any of it.
Then there are admitted Democrat/Socialist federal officials plotting to finish gutting the US Constitution after 100 years of trying. They promise to take away critical individual rights like free speech, religious freedom and the 2nd Amendment; destroy states rights by eliminating the electoral college and more; pack the Supreme Court with activist anti-constitutionalist judges who will make law from the bench; give the right to vote to tens of millions of non-Americans; and open our borders to more illegals which will reduce wages. No one voted for these things that were hidden from the majority of Americans by the corrupt media. . . .
There is no unfettered right to free speech, religious expression, or gun ownership — all rights have limits. (Otherwise, people could go around libeling you, using government funds to support their church, or shooting people.) Elected officials could certainly pass amendments to eliminate the electoral college or add more judges to the Supreme Court. And no one can enable noncitizens to vote in federal elections.
If you think “no one voted for these things,” then where did Biden’s nearly 80 million votes come from? That’s a majority of America, not “no one.”
These are political arguments. If you feel elected officials have the wrong priorities, elect different officials. Don’t declare martial law and throw out the election.
. . . Culminating in this corrupt and provably fraudulent current election planned to illegally and un-constitutionally deny the American people their most sacred honor, right and privilege – which is the right to elect their Representatives! How can we have a Representative Republic if we cannot hold fair elections to elect our Representatives? There is no doubt that this attempted stealing of these elections again “is a case of rebellion…in fact, a clear, flagrant, and gigantic case of rebellion” that requires exercising extraordinary authority to preserve our Union.
In nearly every lawsuit brought by Trump’s campaign, judges are not just deciding against the Trump campaign, they are deriding the complete lack of evidence. When Americans want change, they protest, and they elect people to create change. If you lose, you lose — shut up, go away, and organize better next time. This is democracy, not rebellion. It is certainly no excuse for sedition.
We the People must not and WILL NOT cede our exclusive Constitutional right to elect our Representatives to judges, lawyers, courts, Governors, Secretary’s of State, Congress, corrupt election officials and local politicians, the corrupt media – or Leftist threats of violence! It is OUR EXCLUSIVE RIGHT to decide our Representatives not theirs! Therefore, We the People MUST demand a NEW and fair national vote, a vote that all Americans can trust and live by regardless of the winner! Without a fair vote, we fear, with good reason, the threat of a shooting civil war is imminent. . . . Therefore, Mr. President you must act now before there is no peaceful way left to preserve our Union.
The more capital letters and exclamation points you see, the more dubious is the logic. This is a threat. It ought to be investigated by the FBI, not supported by a former national security advisor.
When the legislators, courts and/or Congress fail to do their duty under the 12th Amendment, you must be ready Mr. President to immediately declare a limited form of Martial Law, and temporarily suspend the Constitution and civilian control of these federal elections, for the sole purpose of having the military oversee a national re-vote. A vote that assures a fair election in every jurisdiction and reflects the true will of the people. Federal candidates only. Paper ballots. No computers. Hand-counted with both parties watching every vote. Only registered voters. Photo ID to prove residence. Conducted safely with everyone wearing masks and six feet apart, just like we did in Ohio. Only then can the winning candidate be accepted as legitimate by a true majority of We the People who must give our consent to be justly governed! Unfortunately we are at a point where we can only trust our military to do this because our corrupt political class and courts have proven their inability to act fairly and within the law.
There’s no precedent for a national revote. There’s no evidence of widespread fraud. There’s no provision for changing the rules of elections, rules which are constitutionally managed by states, not by the federal government.
And there’s certainly no threat that requires a declaration of martial law and a military takeover. It’s all in the writer’s head.
When you lose an election, shut up. Don’t call in the army. That’s what happens in military dictatorships, not democracies.
You must also act, like Lincoln did, to silence the destructive media’s one-sided propaganda . . . to restore the confidence of the American People in our electoral process or we cannot continue as a nation. Failure to do so could result in massive violence and destruction on a level not seen since the Civil War. Limited Martial Law is clearly a better option than Civil War!
This is a not-very-well-veiled threat to incite violence.
Many will object to these actions, as they did in Lincoln’s day, but we assure you that We the People understand that no less action will suffice to prevent the loss of our Constitutional right to vote and preserve our Republic. It is time to honor your oath, Mr. President. It is time for you to boldly act to save our nation as Lincoln did. We the People will support a national re-vote. We will also have no other choice but to take matters into our own hands, and defend our rights on our own, if you do not act within your powers to defend us.
I’m just trying to get this straight. We need the military to crack down on America because of peaceful protests — and a threat of violence that exists only in the mind of this poster. We need to invalidate an entire election and the votes of over 150 million people. And if we don’t get it, we’ll take to the streets with guns, because “we have no choice.” There is certainly a threat here, but it’s from the writer of this manifesto, not from voters or protestors who are not even armed.
Arrest this guy for sedition. And as for General Flynn — imagine if we’d had someone supporting these sorts of ideas as an actual government official. That’s truly terrifying.
Can we all take a step back from these unhinged loonies? Please. We have a pandemic to crush and an economy to rebuild. I look forward to restoring a government by grownups that ignore the violent, wacko fringes rather than empowering them.