A military coup against President Trump? It’s irresponsible even to think of it

Donald Trump at an event in Las Vegas in 2015.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

To the editor: James Kirchick’s piece weighing the chances of the military overthrowing President Donald Trump is one of the most grotesque op-ed articles I’ve read. (“If Trump wins, a coup isn’t impossible here in the U.S.,” Opinion, July 19)

A writer who has never served a day in the military — an organization that in its DNA is meant to protect American democracy — arguing that the same organization would launch a coup against a legitimately elected president is a completely reprehensible claim. Kirchick is blithely ignorant of basic civics, and the constitutional structure of our nation speaks to the paucity of his argument.

This is an affront to all military members who swore an oath to protect the Constitution. While Kirchick has a right to say what he did, he should still be responsible for his words.


John Badertscher, Pittsburgh


To the editor: It is always wrong to cry “fire” in a crowded theater. In this hour, it is equally wrong to increase the tension in our nation right now. Kirchick’s rhetoric is allowed under the Constitution’s 1st Amendment, but it is still unwise.

I truly hope the U.S. never comes to the scenario Kirchick lays out. Suggesting that a coup is an option if Trump were to give an illegal order devalues the rule of law by which the U.S. has survived for more than two centuries.

The United States has endured more than one Trump as president and would survive another one by following the Constitution and utilizing the rule of law. Kirchick should use his power as a commentator to suggest change through the processes that we have here in the Untied States and not lower us into third-world thinking.

Kathleen McCallister, Omaha

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