The pen is mightier than the sword. This much used and respected quote adorns the walls of the Library of Congress and many of us claim to full heartedly believe in its truth. Yet when we see the egregious misuse of words we don't usually have the same reaction as if a sword were being dangerously waved in our faces. Perhaps we should.
I feel it is my obligation as a citizen to pick up my pen, in response to those in our country who, for their own misguided or selfish reasons, are wielding the most powerful words in a wantonly dangerous manner to our democracy.
We have listened for weeks as talking heads on Fox Infotainment channel have bandied about the use of the word "coup", mostly passive in our response to this rhetoric as the accepted, factless, over the top nonsense that is often pumped out by Fox. Some, including myself have offered a warning to the misuse of this word, but now seeing it spread like a virus among those holding positions of power and doctorate level degrees, it is time for serious and widespread protest.
Real democracy finds its greatest strength through free speech and freedom of the press. Censorship is not the answer to the misuse of this word but rather a scathing exposure of the choice of this word and the dubious motivations of those using it over and over and over. Many, to be sure, are simply repeating conservative talking points but a strong argument can be made that a greater design underlies the increased use of this rhetoric.
For the last time, the impeachment of Donald Trump is clearly not a coup. To use this language is not only factually inaccurate, irresponsible and dangerous but for elected officials and those who are highly educated, it is shameful. Perhaps we can forgive the average retired Fox viewer who sits on the couch marinating themselves in the unending propaganda that spews from the right wing squawk box day in and day out, as simply repeating the phrases they have been dutifully trained to parrot. But for those who hold positions of power and high level degrees, I call bullshit. You know better.
A coup is a FORCEFUL overthrow of an existing government outside of the established processes which normally allow for the peaceful transition of power. It is OUTSIDE of a democratic process. Perhaps if Hannity, Limbaugh, Matt Gaetz, Craig Roberts and others recklessly throwing this word around need a good refresher on what a REAL coup is, I would suggest Stephen Kinzer's book "Overthrow". In it Kinzer describes in detail the United States government's overthrow of many governments around the world through REAL coups. In fact the United States, through the CIA, has become so adept at conducting REAL coups that they have an established step by step procedure for carrying out these overthrows.
Although these over throws are best conducted in an entirely covert manner, without the consent or knowledge of the people and Congress, they also have a skilled plan to drum up support for these coups in advance through massive propaganda campaigns.
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