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Martial Law Coming? - Dilbert Blog

Martial Law Coming?

Let’s say Donald Trump wins the election. And let’s say Democrats believe everything they say about him – that he’s the next Hitler. Wouldn’t President Obama be obligated to declare martial law and remain in power?

I realize this question sounds silly when you first hear it. But keep in mind that Democrats have successfully sold the “racist strongman” narrative about Trump to their own ranks. If they’re right about Trump, we need to start getting serious about planning for martial law, for the good of the country and the world. No one wants another Hitler. And if they’re wrong, we still need to plan for martial law because Democrats think they are right. That’s all it takes.

Imagine, for example, that violence against police escalates because of the rhetoric on the left. That seems likely. Then add in some more videos of police shooting unarmed African-American men and you have all the ingredients for riots, followed by martial law.

Years ago, during Obama’s first term, a Republican friend bet me that Obama would declare martial law and stay in office after losing his reelection bid. I laughed and agreed to the bet. My friend paid the bet when Obama won reelection. My friend is a nut, right?

Or was he just premature?

My best guess is that 30% of the country believes (incorrectly) that we are heading toward some sort of pre-Nazi situation in the United States, where President Trump calls on his legion of racist supporters to do some ethnic cleansing. That’s all completely ridiculous, but it doesn’t stop perhaps 30% of the country from believing it. 

Unlike most campaign rhetoric of the past, the attacks against Trump are designed to generate action, not words. Normal campaigns ask for little more than your vote. But this time, Clinton’s side – mostly surrogates and supporters – have defined their opponent as a Nazi-like dictator who will destroy the country, if not the entire world. In that situation, action is morally justified. And that action could include riots and violence against authority.

How much violence against authority would it take for President Obama to declare martial law and stay in power?

Less than you think. Television coverage will make every act of violence seem a hundred times worse than it is.

I don’t predict that we will see martial law in this country. But all of the ingredients are in place. Keep that in mind when you do your mental calculation about which political party is the reckless one.

I endorse Hillary Clinton – for my personal safety – so please don’t kill me when the riots break out. But for the record, my political preferences don’t align with any of the candidates.

If you think I spelled martial law correctly, you might enjoy my book. No one knows why.