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A Tale of Two Coups

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Follow Me on Twitter     Message Michele Goddard

Put a bit of yin and yang in you're life #hippy #yinandyang #Peace  #love  by #hollynorval
Put a bit of yin and yang in you're life #hippy #yinandyang #Peace #love by #hollynorval
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Two countries, worlds apart, like twin stars across a vast distance of space yet still manage a reflection of one another in the political mirror.

The United States and Myanmar both held elections in November 2020. In both countries the losers of those elections began propaganda campaigns alleging wide spread election fraud. Even the complaint of the losers mirrored one another. Claims of "dead people voting" and people who were too young or otherwise illegal were permitted to vote. There were also claims of one citizen voting multiple times. Election officials in both countries audited the results and determined the allegations of fraud were baseless. In both countries, the losing side failed to produce specific examples of alleged fraud. Both propaganda campaigns were then followed by violent coup attempts in January. The U.S. survived its attempted coup, Myanmar did not.

Perhaps a better analogy of the two countries would be the symbol of the yin and yang. That ancient symbol of a circle comprised of two tear drop shaped bodies, one black, one white appearing to chase one another in a circle. For although the events of the two countries were the same, the outcomes were different, and we owe it to the future or our country to understand why we survived and they did not.

The US and Myanmar are like two sides of the same coin. Myanmar is emerging from a dictatorship and the United States is sliding towards one.

Myanmar has been subjected to colonialism and military rule for much of the last century and disputed elections and threat of military rule still loom heavy in the air. The military control of Myanmar only recently succumbed to elections in 2011. This is the first distinction between our nations.

The 8/8/88 revolution in Myanmar led to promises to have elections. But after the first one was held, and the opposition party, the National League for Democracy, won in a landslide, the military refused to accept the results and jailed the leader of the opposing party.

The United States, having been a Democratic Republic since its inception, has elected its leaders at given intervals and up until this last election, regardless of the heated rhetoric during the election, saw a peaceful transition of power.

There is an inertia involved in our histories. Our inclination to the idea expressed so eloquently in the Declaration of Independence that:

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

Likewise in Myanmar, the long established government was one by military rule and that inertia was not fully overcome with the first elections. Some parts of the government are under military not civilian control while in the United States, the idea is embedded and long established that the military should not have direct control over aspects of civil governance.

So inertia was perhaps on our side for now. Our founding fathers were wise to be concerned about standing armies and the threat they pose to democracy and therefore from the outset established limitations on the independence of the military.

If it were not for this, Trump's populism and demagoguery may have led us to the same fate as Myanmar. Trump's chants of "lock her up" were perhaps a mere political tool without real intent but they were also the strongest clue of his totalitarian ambitions. It is common in coups to see one's opponents jailed. Trump's own campaign manager Paul Manafort, worked on the campaign of another politician, Viktor Yanokovich also known as "Putin's man in Ukraine."

Yanokovich's crowds also wanted to "lock up" - referring to his poltical rival, Yulia Tymoshenko. And in that time and place, again a more precarious political situation, Tymoshenko was arrested following Yanokovich's victory.

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Michele Goddard Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I was born in 1970 in Wheeling, WV and have lived here all my life. I come from mostly Irish Catholic coal miners and railroad workers. My original academic interest was in teaching foreign languages studying both French and Spanish in High (more...)

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