Poll: 29% Would Support a Military Takeover of Government in Some Situations

A sizeable portion of Americans think a Military takeover of the United States might be the best option in some circumstances.

I have to admit, I’m not sure what to think of the poll question from YouGov: “Is there any situation in which you could imagine yourself supporting the U.S. Military taking over the powers of the Federal Government?”

I would like to think the extraordinarily high numbers that would support such a military takeover reflect the creativity of imagining all possible circumstances. Obviously, if all Federal officials were replaced by reptile aliens, there wouldn’t be much reason to oppose the military removing such beings from power. And it would stand to reason that the transition would require some level of military takeover of the powers of the Federal Government before humans could be elected back to those offices.

But the numbers and party affiliations make me worry:

military coup

So 43 percent of Republicans answered this question in the affirmative, in comparison to twenty percent of Democrats.

Not good.

Along with this, the poll also asked about the priorities of military officers, police officers, Federal civil servants, local politicians, and Congressman. Were these people interested in what they think is best for the country or what is best for themselves?

best for country or themselves

Peter Moore writes about the poll:

A law professor at West Point was forced to hastily resign after it emerged that he had authored a number of controversial articles. In one he suggested that legal scholars defending the rights of suspected terrorists could be considered legitimate military targets, while in another he examined a potential military coup in the United States, arguing that officers may have a duty to sieze control of the federal government if the federal government acted against the interest of the country. The United States military has long embraced the idea of civilian control of national affairs, and apart from certain rare moments the American officer corps has faithfully followed the orders of their civilian superiors.

YouGov’s latest research shows, however, that officers in the military are held in much greater esteem than their civilian superiors, and that they are widely viewed as having the best interests of the country in mind instead of their own selfish concerns.

In my opinion, the problem here is that people don’t understand why Congressmen are worse than others (assuming for the sake of argument that they are indeed worse). It may be true that they are worse than military officers, but that is because they have all the power. If the military establishes itself with the powers that formerly belonged to the Federal Government you will see the corruption of the military and they will become as bad as or worse than the people in Congress.

[See also, “Centralized Power Is a Corruption Magnet.”]

The fact is that the Federal Government has too many powers, that all exceed the limits of the Constitution. We don’t want anyone to assume those powers, whether through a military takeover or the next Presidency. Rather, we want the power abolished.