As events swiftly spiral out of control and the capitalist system teeters on the brink of collapse, Americans must plan ahead for completely unprecedented, uncertain times. It’s clear that Trump, who is obviously responsible for the mass murder of 200,000-plus Americans and economic disaster, can’t win a majority vote in the presidential race – and that he knows this. So he’s desperately setting the stage to steal the election, ranting and raving about “voter fraud” and how “mail-in ballots” are rigged. Rigging, of course, is de rigueur for the “rigger-in-chief,” and desperate to stay in power – in order to avoid being charged with a variety of crimes, not payoff hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, et al – sober people must expect this frantic conman to pull any dirty trick on (and off) the books to remain president.

As Senator Bernie Sanders recently told The New York Times: “The American people have got to be prepared for this... It is absolutely essential that they are.” In a statement the self-proclaimed socialist went on to say: “this is an election about whether or not we retain American democracy. This is an election we must not lose… Donald Trump poses the biggest threat to our democracy that we've ever seen from a sitting president.”

Trump’s “ratfucking” (to use a Nixonian term) will likely combine extra-constitutional tactics as well as taking a deep dive down the rabbit hole of the Electoral College. This is the anti-democratic legacy of the elitist slaveowners and merchants who wrote our creaky, convoluted, archaic Constitution in 1787, essentially mandating that only 538 individuals known as “Electors” can legally determine the outcome of the presidential election – not, you know, like 100 million-plus voters. (Hey, thanks Hamilton – and fuck you very much and the room where democracy never happened!

At a September 23 press briefing, asked about the peaceful transfer of power which has been the hallmark of the American system - through civil and world wars - for 200-plus years, Trump ominously asserted: “the [mail-in] ballots are a disaster. There won’t be a transfer frankly, there will be a continuation” in the presidency. We can fully anticipate that Trump, the cheater-in-chief, will endeavor to exploit and manipulate the byzantine Electoral College process that serves as a failsafe guard for the elite. Remember that in 2016 Trump was the popular vote loser, but he gamed the Electoral College all the way into the White House. (The College’s undemocratic procedures are so complicated that enumerating them is outside the scope of this piece.)

As nothing is too low for the amoral Trump to stoop to, we must also be prepared for the likelihood that he will resort to extra-constitutional means in order to not be thrown out of the Oval Office. As Trump has already invoked and extolled violence countless times, he may unleash the dogs of war. He has already deployed federal law enforcers to brutally crackdown on protesters at Portland and Washington. He could incite Alt Right fanatics and mobs to attack dissenters. And/or as commander-in-chief he may instigate a military coup (although since he has insulted and alienated high ranking officers, rank and file service personnel and veterans, many of them non-white, this might reduce the odds of a possible Pentagon putsch).

How ever Trump tries to prevent being ousted from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the opposition must be prepared to take action to stop him from retaining power and asserting authoritarian rule. Since at least 2019 comic Bill Maher has been insisting Trump will not voluntarily leave the White House (as The Donald’s ex-attorney Michael Cohen stated during Congressional testimony) and asking guests on his HBO program how Americans can make sure he vacates the premises if he loses the election.

Various ways of doing so have been suggested, including on the get-out-the-vote and legal fronts. Democrats call for a landslide victory at the polls leaving no doubt as to who the victor is, as well as taking the Senate and keeping the House of Representatives. Bernie likewise emphasizes the importance of “defeat[ing] Trump by the largest margin possible” and told The NY Times he’s “urging states to count mail-in ballots ‘as rapidly as they can.’” If Trump does contest the outcome – say, by challenging those mail-in ballots that appear likely to favor the Biden-Harris ticket – Democrats are setting up a legion of courtroom gladiators to litigate against Trumpian skullduggery.

Some on the Left are calling for more bold responses. Movement stalwarts Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman propose a “general strike” (see: RefuseFascism’s Coco Das declares: “We must bring all our fury and determination to bear right now and call people out to the streets and aim for the top.” RefuseFascism’s co-initiator Andy Zee advocates “mass, sustained, nonviolent but determined protest to drive this regime from power and prevent the full consolidation of fascist rule.” (See:

Some advocate more militant measures. Cartoonist/columnist Ted Rall wrote: “The Left has embraced a cartoonish militant pacifism that goes far beyond Gandhi… Violence hasn’t disappeared. Now the authorities have a monopoly on violence. They operate with impunity against dispossessed people. The authorities have militarized local police forces. They’ve murdered countless people of color, spied on our emails and phone calls, and even declared the right to use drones to blow up U.S. citizens on U.S. soil… What makes violence, or more precisely the willingness to be violent, a useful tactic is that it isn’t necessary to kill anyone or break anything every time you want something. You don’t need actual violence to exert pressure against your enemy – you need the credible threat of violence.” (

If Trump is the first president since 1789 to break with historic precedence and refuses to allow a peaceful passage of power the people have to be ready for revolution. While white supremacists, neofascists, the police and much of the military are armed and on Trump’s side, the fact is that since George Floyd’s murder this country has seen arguably the greatest sustained wave of protest since 1776. Millions of people have taken to the streets to fight for Black Lives Matter and this tide of dissent can be seen as a continuation of the Women’s March the day after Trump was sworn into office.

The rightwing hasn’t staged actions anywhere near as huge as what the anti-racist, anti-Trump forces have. The fact is we greatly outnumber them, and as mentioned, they were outvoted by millions in the 2016 election. And we must not be naïve. Faced with the possibility of a totalitarian takeover by a tyrannical minority, we must remember that the Second Amendment also guarantees the Left has the right to bear arms. We must confront reality and prepare for the possibility that anti-Trump forces may have to resort to armed self-defense against a possible onslaught against and mass arrests of dissidents. We cannot hide from the fact that we may have to take militant, direct action in order to prevent a Trumpist authoritarian coup that could threaten our rights and liberties.

It’s important to point out a key component of fascism that is largely forgotten and overlooked in the public discourse on totalitarianism that applies to at least segments of the so-called “Trump base.” Two psychoanalysts who fled Hitler proved – in Wilhelm Reich’s The Mass Psychology of Fascism and Erich Fromm’s Escape From Freedom – that fascism is the politics of the “irrational.” From downplaying the plague to denying climate change and so on, Trump and many of those who subscribe to his peculiar cult of personality demonstrate an inability to accept and cope with objective reality. We must be ready to defend ourselves against them if there is some sort of plot to subvert the electoral process and impose authoritarianism upon us.

As the summer surge of protests show spontaneity has its strength – but also, as Frantz Fanon noted, its “weakness.” The new emerging movement needs to be organized around a program of governance. A sort of online “committees of correspondence” needs to coalesce and coordinate a national response to an attempted Trump coup, including (but not limited to) armed self-defense.

It’s interesting that in the wake of George Floyd’s murder some of the most militant, prolonged struggles have actually taken place in disproportionately white cities, including Seattle, Portland and Minneapolis. It’s a good thing that the cause of Black Lives Matter appeals to the lofty ideals of Caucasians and others who are not themselves African Americans. But noble sentiments alone won’t galvanize the majority of non-Blacks, who are constantly brainwashed to think about “me first” in an extremely selfish, greedy, divisive, racist capitalist society. Instead of appealing solely to “the better angels of [their] natures,” as Lincoln eloquently put it, whites and others must also be attracted by a program that addresses their personal interests in a country suffering from massive economic inequality. Doing so can solidify the multi-racial majority movement united by common interests needed to defeat Trumpism and election tampering.

If Trump schemes to install himself as a king, we must remember the immortal words of The Declaration of Independence: “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government… when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” Like King George before him, Trump has proven himself “unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”

Revolution is as American as apple pie. And as the specter of a Trump power grab stalks the land, 21st century Americans must once again get, as Stokely Carmichael put it, “ready for the Revolution.” Fear for the worst – but hope for the best.