Trump Has Some 'Cult-like' Support Within Military Ranks

Whitehouse photo - Joyce N. Boghosian

“The constant drumbeat of right-wing conspiracy theories and hateful political rhetoric is reflected in the military"

AlterNet - October 7, 2019

“The belief that there is indeed a coup being orchestrated against President Trump is a weapon Trump has in his arsenal, depending how far down the road to authoritarianism he decides to go,” Ravalgi observes. “But Trump would need to deeply fracture the military first, and that is something to watch for. Most members of the armed forces are honorable, patriotic Americans who would never take part in such a scheme, despite their support for Trump. But a significant portion just might.”

President Donald Trump set off yet another controversy on Twitter when, on September 29, he echoed the rhetoric of far-right evangelical wingnut Robert Jeffress and tweeted, “if the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office, which they will never be, it will cause a Civil War-like fracture in this nation from which our country will never heal.” Although Trump’s irresponsible tweet has drawn widespread condemnation, the armed militia group the Oath Keepers applauded the tweet and posted, “We ARE on the verge of a HOT civil war. Like in 1859.” And intelligence expert Patricia Ravalgi, in an October 6 op-ed for the Daily Beast, contemplates how the U.S. military would respond if a civil war did, in fact, break out in the United States in response to Trump’s impeachment.

Trump is now facing an impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives because of the Ukraine scandal and a whistleblower’s revelation that during a July 25 phone conversation, Trump tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. If the House does end up indicting Trump on articles of impeachment, he would face a trial in the U.S. Senate.

Ravalgi spent 19 years working intelligence-related jobs in Washington, D.C. — including jobs at the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — before working for United States Central Command (CENTCOM) in Tampa, Florida. And she is troubled by the fact that after Trump posted his civil war-related tweet, the hashtag #CivilWarSignup and the phrase “Civil War” started trending on Twitter.

“In the modern era,” Ravalgi writes, “real civil wars have been the great affliction of Third World countries — conflicts that split nations and societies along political, ethnic or religious fault lines. They are very often accompanied by martial law and resolved by military intervention. Is this what the president has in mind? ...
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