On February 1st, democracy died in Myanmar. The military arrested the leaders of the the nation’s civilian party, announcing that an unelected general would run the country during a one-year “emergency” period. Myanmar has since been locked in a bloody internal struggle, as military forces violently suppress citizens who are demanding the restoration of even a semblance self-governance. It’s a horrific and tragic situation, and a massive injustice perpetrated against the Burmese people.
Michael Flynn wants this to happen in America.
“It should happen,” the former national security director said at a QAnon-themed conference in Dallas over the weekend when asked why a similar coup couldn’t happen in the United States. The Memorial Day Weekend crowd went wild when the question was posed, and when Flynn said there’s “no reason” it couldn’t happen here, quickly adding that it should.
Here is the video of former national security advisor Michael Flynn saying that he thinks a coup like the coup in Myanmar should happen in the US. pic.twitter.com/7mGYjfXg18
— Mamie 😌 (@MC_Hyperbole) May 30, 2021
It’s unsettling to hear someone who was so recently the president’s top adviser on national security endorse a military coup to overthrow the government — but it isn’t really that surprising. Flynn’s fascist flirtations are nothing new. He’s even called for a military rule before, like in December when he said then-President Trump should institute martial law in order to “rerun an election” in the battleground states Trump lost to Biden a month earlier.
Flynn, later, tried unconvincingly to walk back his remarks, but that’s also part of the dance. Flynn and others tell Trump’s most hardcore base what they really mean, and then profess innocence to keep up appearances for polite society — and to give mainstream GOP officials cover as they continue to kowtow to the former president.
Flynn’s absolute devotion to Trump and Deep State conspiracy theorizing has garnered him god-like status in the QAnon community he was speaking before over Memorial Day Weekend. Same goes for Sydney Powell, the lawyer who long promised to release a trove of evidence proving the election was stolen (but — for some reason! — never did), who was also at the conference. Powell, like Flynn, continued to claim the election was rigged, while also suggesting that Trump is going to be “reinstated” in the White House. More wild applause.
At the "Patriot Round Up" QAnon conference in Dallas, Sidney Powell informs the crowd that Trump won't get credit for "time lost" after he's reinstated as president and Biden is forced to leave the White House.
Feels like she's setting them up for more disappointment. pic.twitter.com/PqNrunvzi3
— Travis View (@travis_view) May 30, 2021
It’s tempting to dismiss what went on in Dallas over the weekend as the ravings of cultists who have no concern for reality. There isn’t actually going to be a military coup in the United States, right? No, probably not. Then again, many dismissed Flynn and Powell’s ravings following the election last November, and though the results weren’t overturned, hundreds of their acolytes stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection that left five people dead. These people aren’t idly fantasizing. They want the U.S. government to be overthrown and they are very serious about how this could be accomplished. Flynn and others are emboldening them to keep working at it.
Talk of a Myanmar-style coup in the United States has been popular among some Trump supporters and QAnon believers for months. pic.twitter.com/PVFKQ6LukA
— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) June 1, 2021
What may be even scarier than the insurrection itself is that it in no way dissuaded the movement’s leaders from promoting the same conspiracy theories that led to it. It also didn’t inspire the Republican Party to in any meaningful way disavow this movement, as doing so would be tantamount to disavowing Trump. The party even voted against a bipartisan bill that would have established a commission to investigate what happened on January 6th. Republicans don’t want to uncover the truth about January 6th because it would undoubtedly reflect poorly on the party, and possibly damn the reelection efforts of some of its members whose terms are up next year. Instead, the GOP wants to memory-hole one of the greatest atrocities in U.S. history, and leave the waters muddy so that people like Flynn and Powell can continue to promote conspiracy theories not only about what really happened, but about what still needs to happen.
Then there’s Trump, who even from Palm Beach is able to chart the direction of the GOP like a dictator. On Tuesday morning, Maggie Haberman of The New York Times reported that the former president “has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August.” It’s a ridiculous idea and it’s not going to happen. It certainly shouldn’t be dismissed, though.