This opinion piece in the LA Times by Jared Diamond was also mirrored at RealClearDefense. Diamond is no Media Matters collectivist putz. He is a Pulitzer Prize winner and thought of as a deep thinker in certain quarters. So when he writes of "the enemy within," you have to take him seriously. And who are "the enemy within?" Why us, of course.
You may object that the American armed forces, unlike those in Chile or Indonesia or Spain, have no precedent at all for interfering in American politics. That's true. But consider what happened in 1933 in Austria, where private citizens had increasingly been arming themselves and forming private militias. When Austria's Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss abolished the country's legislature and established an authoritarian right-wing government, he didn't use an Austrian army to crush his left-wing political opponents. He did it with a militia of his own armed supporters.Could that be possible here? Already, plenty of Americans are asserting the right to carry guns in previously unlikely places (such as in schools and government offices). Already, they are forming private militias for purposes such as patrolling the Mexican border and protecting a claimed right to graze cattle on federal lands. Again, when private citizen militias already carry guns for those purposes, it's "just" a matter of expanding the scope of an established principle to use guns for other purposes.We Americans today are focused on the wrong threats to American democracy. We are obsessed with threats from overseas: from terrorists and Islamist extremists, and from other countries. But realistically, while terrorists and Islamists and other countries will continue to cause trouble for us, the chance of their ending American democracy is nil. The only real threat to American democracy comes from Americans themselves. If our politicians continue to yield to pressure from extremists not to compromise and remain mired in gridlock, the majority of decent Americans may in frustration come to view an authoritarian government as the only solution to political gridlock — as a lesser evil that has to be tolerated.
Uh, pardon me, oh exalted anal sphincter, but "authoritarian government" is here already and it is your intellectual allies who are working their dictatorial wills in violation of the Founders' Constitution upon the rest of us.