(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
The military’s role in a contested election

There are at least two ways that the outcome of this November’s presidential election could threaten the existing political order. Both risk drawing the armed forces of the United States into partisan politics, with the Constitution itself thereby put in jeopardy. Americans are long accustomed to assuming that the US military is indelibly and irreversibly apolitical. Events in the coming months may well test that assumption.

Scenario No. 1 has lately been garnering more than occasional press attention: Biden wins, but Trump refuses to accept the outcome. He denounces the election as rigged and vows to retain control of the White House. Citing the Second Amendment, Trump might then mobilize his many millions of followers as a “National Militia” committed to preserving law and order (and therefore his hold on the presidency) until an honest election can be organized, however long that may take.

But scenario No. 2 is hardly less problematic: Trump wins, but anti-Trumpers, including the vast majority of the nation’s media, intellectual, and cultural elite, refuse to accept the outcome. Unable to abide four more years of being governed by a corrupt, incompetent, pathologically dishonest narcissist, they could well declare his presidency illegitimate and demand his removal. The “Resistance” inspired by his ascent to high office in 2016 revives with a vengeance. Antifa transitions from a fringe group to a mass movement intent on ousting a manifestly fascist regime, using whatever means are necessary.

Read the full article in The Nation.

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