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A President's Guide to

Military Coups

Joshua Christine
PSCI 181

13 Feb 2017

(Word Count: 1501)


Mr. President,

Like over 84 million other Americans I watched the obscenity which was the last presidential debate. I
lament the state of affairs which we, as a nation, now find ourselves in. We languish between the rock of
an ostensibly corrupt and self serving politician and the hard place of a dangerously egotistical buffoon. Is
it not you who has succored this country however? Is it not you who has led the United States out of the
worst recession in our nation's recent history? A history that you have helped build and earned a place in.

No, President Obama, you are this nation's true hero. Worthy leaders are not those like your opponents,
who by inheritance and favors received their titles. Instead the worthy are those such as yourself, who, on
account of their innumerable good qualities, deserve to be [princes]1. You have, like Numa before you,
crafted your nation into a thriving empire through belief rather than force and might. Sadly, now all that
you have built hangs in peril. Just as Rome before it, America needs both the ideology of Numa and the
might of Romulus. If this country ever needed you, it was at this very moment and it is your task, nay
your very duty, to come to its aid in this hour of need. The time for Numa has passed, and now is the time
for the strength of Romulus.2 You must Remember that when the safety of one's country wholly depends
on the decision to be taken, no attention should be paid either to justice or injustice, to kindness or
cruelty, or to its being praiseworthy or ignominious3. Your term in office comes swiftly to an end as each
passing month marches us ever closer to the impending doom of choosing between the lesser of two evils.

For the continuation of the empire, you must seize a third term at any cost.

Although you would never make moves solely to amass for yourself the great power at your fingertips,
surely you must see that in this instance the interest of the nation must supercede your own humility or
reverence for the letter of the law. Remember that the two term limit was only established in 1947 after
the great war that mens hearts were so afraid they enacted such a limitation . What more then of the
spirit of the law? Is it not in place to prevent the oppression of tyrants who might use the power of the
office for personal or material gain? Does not the spirit of the law then mandate that these kinds of tyrants
be prevented from holding the most powerful office in the world? Indeed it does, and as an expert in these
matters, how could you stand by and watch a tyrant be elected? No, Mr. President, that would not only be
a miscarriage of justice and democracy, but a gross negligence on your part. Take example from this [Mr.
President], that he who imitates Numa may keep [the State] or not keep it, according as the times and
fortune may turn his way; but he who imitates Romulus, and is like him armed with prudence and
weapons, will keep it in any case4.

Like Rome before it, the United States is a powerful republic and a force for good in the right hands, but a
dangerous weapon and ruined state in the hands of a weak leader. This is the new Rome, and you the new
Caesar! Rome stands now crumbling on the precipice and ruin lies beneath. Let not Rome burn while
tyrants laugh in its midst! Instead, Mr. President, it is your duty, just as Brutus, to uphold the stability
and prosperity of the nation by maintaining your presidency until a worthy successor can be established. I
propose you do this swiftly, deftly, and with great precision, and I will tell you just how to do it if you
would but listen to one who has spent his entire lifetime in study and preparation for such a moment as
this. My knowledge of the conduct of great men, learned through experience of modern affairs and
continual study of ancient history, will be an invaluable asset to you in this hour of great opportunity 5.
Although it was the cleverness of the fox that first brought you to the presidency, you must now be fierce
and ferocious like the lion6. The lion is neither shy nor overly cautious. He is impetuous and fierce and
bends others to his will. So to you must bend Fortune to your will in this. For Fortuna is like a woman and
it is necessary, in order to keep her under, to beat and maul her7. Mr. President if you want to save this
nation by seeking a third term in office, you must become the lion, and you must stage a military coup.

Now I dont expect you will have the time to devote to the oversight of these matters given the demands
that the needs of the nation place upon you. Instead, I suggest that you allow me to advise you in all such
matters and to place upon me the responsibility of their oversight. I can oversee control of the entire
operation and simply hand the reigns over to you after it is completed, giving you plausible deniability
should anything go wrong. Of course as your loyal supporter and friend, I freely share with you my plan
here.

PHASE ONE:
Stage One: Create a culture of conspiracy made up only of your most trusted
and loyal compatriots and bind them to secrecy.
Stage Two: Culture an air of paranoia to keep everyone from talking. We must
make them believe that if they talk you will meet them with the utmost force and cruelty,
and that even if they remain hidden, they will be killed or imprisoned by our enemies.
Stage Three: Initiate intentional injections of chaos, so those who show
leadership will rise and be followed. Shut down or intimidate dissenters and ritually violate
basic standards of order and public civility. In this way you will find asset and can more
easily subjugate the rest under their command and who me you can later use as scapegoats.

PHASE TWO:

Stage Four: Denunciation of those who speak out against you as traitors and
terrorists to ensure avenues of effective dissent are quelled. Smear campaigns and
dexterous use of intelligence agencies are very useful for this.
Stage Five: Creation of false flag terror attacks to create a mythos justifying the
expediency at which the next few steps will follow under the guise of national security.
Emphasize unity and patriotism/national pride (over democracy).
Stage Six: Temporary empowerment of hand picked leadership to deal with
chaos which must be blamed on the terrorist dissenters. Choose leaders based on seniority
and zeal in order to keep power concentrated and prevent it from diffusing back into
democratic process.
Stage Seven: Leadership will use emergency provisions under existing laws to
shut down all meetings, monitor all communications, take control of public utilities and
services like fire and police, and sensor communications to the press until official power
can be reinstated.

FINAL PHASE:

Stage Eight: Direct violence toward any who remain in protest or opposition.
The mere threat of violence may be sufficient, but if violence is used you will use the media
to decry the violence as individuals acting alone. When choosing these targets, it is better
to displace or disrupt the poor and powerless than the rich and powerful because the poor
cannot fight back. Moreover, remember that if you must use force on your dissidents, you
must utterly destroy them. Men ought either to be caressed or destroyed, since they will
seek revenge for minor hurts but will not be able to revenge major ones8.
Stage Nine: Once you achieve successful control of the operation from within,
and no one remaining involved besides your hand picked leadership realizes a coup has
occurred, you will hold a farce election in your favor, declare that true democracy has been
restored, and be lauded a hero and saviour. Now, you will have the power you need to effect
the change youve wanted since first entering office. This power does not mean obvious
control though, in fact you must make men believe that they chose this shift in power. It
should be noted that men live more happily and prosperously under the shade of trees
which they themselves have planted. Thus it remains important, even after the
consolidation of power, to uphold the illusion of democratic process until you accomplish
your ultimate aim.

I give this advice to you Mr. President with highest hopes and the truest belief in your innate virtu. Only
you have the power to accomplish this, and there is none more qualified than I to assist you. I have only to
add that I wish you the utmost fortune in whatever is your choice. May the odds be ever in your favor 10.
References

1. Discourses: Greeting

2. Discourses Ch 11

3. Discourses: Ch 41

4. Discourses Ch 19

5. Discourses: Greeting

6. The Prince Ch 18

7. The Prince Ch 25

8. The Prince Ch 3

9. The Art of War

10. The Hunger Games