When The People see the Government as Illegitimate


There have been several news articles of late quoting a Trump supporter as saying something like “there will be a Civil War if Trump is impeached”. These are click-bait pieces, intended to rile up a certain segment of the population with images of white men in their 50s or 60s with MAGA red hats and shotguns storming the steps of Congress.

On the face of it, this is simply preposterous. On a deeper level, there is something to this idea. No, not that Trump supporters would take to the streets in violence if the Senate actually impeached him and actually try and overthrow the government. That is not the real danger. The real danger is the government itself already looks pretty illegitimate to a lot of folks right and left. Impeaching a president, now, in this great divide, with clowns in office, right and left, could only serve to further delegitimize the government itself.

The far left sees the government as oppressive, its police forces unchecked and the government as a tool of inequity. The far-right sees the government as the champion of the destruction of traditional America and inalienable rights to life, liberty, and property. Everybody left, right and middle sees the federal government as incompetent and mired in silliness. It is not a far jump from thinking something an incompetent joke to actually seeing it as illegitimate.

No there will not be a Civil War if Trump were to be impeached but the pendulum does swing, and it is swinging harder with each iteration. Trump was a logical counter-reaction to Obama, the Alt-Right to Antifa, one party’s witch hunt is a reaction to the others when they were in power. The witch hunts will not stop, the pendulum will not stop swinging and the government will not suddenly start appearing more legitimate or competent. Ineptitude, investigations, chaos, and pettiness are now the very best Congress can provide America, no matter which party is in charge.

Somebody, one side, will eventually grow tired of the pendulum and violence will ensue someday. It is likely now, not just theoretical. It could take a year, or twenty, but a government cannot rule without violence once it becomes illegitimate – the Federal government has either crossed that line or is rapidly approaching it, it all depends upon your perspective. The apathy demonstrated by most is an absolute sign of this illegitimacy, a testimony equal to the anger and agitation on the far right and left.

An illegitimate government either crumbles, the least likely outcome, or resorts to violence to combat violence, to shore up its power in a vacuum of legitimacy. Authoritarianism often follows illegitimacy.

The cultural war has devastated a lot more than American traditions, it has polarized politics to such a degree that the government can no longer actually function to fulfill its purpose.

We elect guys with nicknames like “Tricky Dick” and “Slick Willie” and wonder why those men have scandal. We elect a guy that is first generation with a middle name of Hussain and investigate his ties to Kenya. We elect a fellow that demonstrates amorality in his personal life and we are shocked by his audacious tweets. But Americans elected these men, and perhaps as Hans Herman Hoppe pointed out in Democracy, The God that Failed that is the problem, the voters or more specifically democracy is the problem. Hoppe was echoing Alexis de Tocqueville’s sentiments about great requiring good. Americans elected these people, and despite the flaws of their choices, they expected the government to get to work. And perhaps that is the problem.

If the government is illegitimate and there are clowns running the halls of congress and bafoons regularly occupying the White House, whose fault is it? This is not a right or left issue, Trump cannot be the best and the brightest that conservatives might have found, he does not even qualify as a conservative in my mind. But have you taken a gander at the debate stage of the left recently? Are those people the best and the brightest from that side? Some of the Democratic offerings even propose eliminating the last “check on stupid” the Founder’s placed in the Constitution, the Electoral College. That is a brilliant idea!

If the government is illegitimate, it is because the electorate is at fault. We elect these people. We are the clowns.

Humpty Dumpty has taken a fall and no amount of effort can put him back together again. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold.

Author: Barry

Southerner, father, husband, Christian and a retired Army field grade officer. Author of five books and of several papers and articles on ethics, culture, history, geopolitics and military affairs.

3 thoughts on “When The People see the Government as Illegitimate”

  1. arguably, though I figured that the Jan 6 insurrection (staged or LIHOP’d) occurred and you thought that was ‘clickbait’ albeit I saw it coming two weeks before it happened, and warned everyone I knew to watch what happens when they try to certify the election.

    But I agree with your premise of the illegitimacy of the ‘gobvarmint’ as I call it, because
    it has been, truly, since about noon on Nov. 22nd, 1963. Sadly the moron sheeple pretend it’s all intact but it’s like a huge huge jumbo jet that plunges to earth and crashes, but
    the next day they show you a shiny airplane and say; “see, we’re okay!!”

    we’ve not been OKAY for 60 plus years. If you study the end of the Roman Empire, you will see so many parallels that you cannot possibly deny that history, once again, is repeating itself because the ignoramus’ in this shithole known as the ‘electorate’ have been so asleep at the wheel that for all practical purposes they are standing in that river in Egypt up to their private parts.

    no amount of reform can fix what we now have. We have a shadow gobvarmint ruling from Langley, and the Rothschilds mansion in NW Londonistan, and that’s what we have, no more sadly and no less that. It’s all a huge kabuki theatre gig. Bread and circuses for the moron sheeple.

    it takes wide awake citizens to maintain a republic. something we never had.


    1. Hugh,
      Solid comments and I agree with you.

      When I wrote this in Dec of 2019, those articles were ‘click-bait’, and even now it is arguably true ‘conservatives’ were not going to take up arms, even in the face of all the lies and deceptions and machinations that occurred in 2020. 1/6 was our Reichstag moment, much of it contrived to create an effect.

      We agree.

      All of us that were paying attention knew by the end of the summer in 2020 they were going to try and make those click-bait articles from the previous year a reality. https://twitter.com/onlyBarryLClark/status/1407147967425961988

      We are in the web brother, that is the plain truth!


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