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The coup is being televised

By October 10, 2020No Comments

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We are watching now what may very well be the last American election. Before 2016, such words would have been unthinkable and unspeakable. The rapidity with which they have become not only possible, but actual, has many of us reeling in disbelief. In these darkest of times, I do not and can not afford myself the luxury to speak about any other current events or issues. Nothing is more important today.

I, along with several other mental health experts, have been warning of this possible disaster since days after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the then United States. Since then, many other former government officials and even a member of his own family have taken up the cri de coeur. Trump will destroy us all, will destroy the very unitedness of the states if not removed from an office that he never should have held.

Through the eyes of a psychologist, his most recently televised behavior offers unequivocal grounds for serious concern about his own and the country’s welfare. If he were just an ordinary citizen, it would be time for an involuntary commitment and further evaluation. If any of us witnessed this behavior in any other context, we might be calling the police to restrain and deter him and we would be well within our rights to do so.

I take no pleasure in saying: “I told you so”. It is almost too late, but still there is time, so I am telling you so once again and probably for the last time. History will have to judge and perhaps continue my work.

People, this is a coup, not an election. Your vote is essentially for or against the continued existence of the country. I hope that everyone who wants the United States to return to previous strength or even to change and progress, but definitely not to be destroyed, will vote on November 3 for that very outcome.

The coming election is actually a referendum on the continued existence of the country. You are not voting for a man, but for or against your country. Trump, however, continues to try to disrupt democratic procedures in multiple ways, not least of which was his refusal to debate. Yes, refusal. The first debate was not a debate at all, but Trump displaying his very disorded personality and behavior to “disorder” the debates and the American election in November.

We must all of, course, vote. That is our first and best option at this moment, to vote in droves, to vote in such large numbers that doubt can not be cast on the outcome. But we must also prepare ourselves for the battle ahead. It begins on November 3 rather than ending there. Trump and his enablers will try every trick in their playbook, from stacking the courts for a decision in their favor to encouraging and abetting violence in the streets. They have told us and they have shown us what they are preparing to do. No sentient being can now claim: “I did not know.”

A country founded by and for White men, based in the slavery of Black men, women and children, the exploitation of Brown-skinned people and the oppression of women perhaps cannot endure. A country built on the murder of its original inhabitants in the name of a Christian savior and the virtue of ruthless competition and stark individuality perhaps cannot endure.

However, this is also a country that has moved on from those early sins of White men, for it was also designed by its founders to grow beyond what they could conceive and beyond what they then believed. And it has done that. Are we experiencing the violent death throes of that narrow and outdated version of oppression or are we hearing the birth cries of a new United States? Perhaps the “or” deceives us and both are occurring simultaneously.

Purveyors of the old way are not demurring at all about their intentions. They invoke white supremacy, misogyny and toxic masculine violence for all to hear and see. They are aggressive, hostile and threatening, as they enact their own paradigm.

We are not in the early stages, but in the final minutes of the American coup. So where is the American hero who will vanquish this monster who threatens America? Instead we are presented with his grandpa, trying mightily to rise to the occasion. He is a decent man, kind and loving, but not the hero for whom we wait. This does not and can not matter now. It is too late to go back to central casting and we are a species who judge by appearance. Yet there is no time to reflect on our brain wiring. There is only time to act.

And act we must. It is time for all of us to be our own heroes, to save ourselves and our country. Only the newest version of that “we” can prevail, the version that so many of us have struggled toward for so many years.

Those of us still waiting for a hero are living in a long ago and mostly fictitious America built on values that we rise to change. So let us change them right here and right now. Let the new and improved version of America begin now and let it begin with us. Let us join together, women and men of conscience of all colors and all ethnicities, of all sexual orientations. Only we can save ourselves now and we can only do that together.

Please vote and then be ready to take to the streets. Don’t let the old, oppressive ways divide us. Joe Biden is not the hero. You are. We are.

This article was originally published in the Wall Street International Magazine.

Ellyn Kaschak

Ellyn Kaschak

Ellyn Kaschak, Ph.D. is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning psychologist, author and teacher. She is well-known as a speaker, workshop leader, human rights advocate and a public intellectual.