Could a Civil Uprising Unseat an Illegitimate Government in United States?

Article Written By: David Dennis, Jr.

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Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

There’s a greater than zero chance that democracy itself crumbles under an autocratic regime takeover. That after 242 years, a certain someone is either going to steal the election or simply decide they’re not going anywhere.

They sound good, but what would actually happen if citizens used these avenues of resistance? To find out, I spoke to experts about the logistics of some of the more popular scenarios that have been tossed around. Would they work? What’s required? And could they be effective — or is there a path to the most resistance?

Not paying taxes

Taxes are a favorite talking point in this regard, and have become even more popular in light of recent reports that Donald Trump has — well, let’s just say he’s been creative with his personal tax payments. If enough Americans simply refuse to pay taxes, the thinking goes, then it would cripple the country’s economy and create a viable form of community resistance.

A work strike

Earlier this year we saw Amazon workers strike for a day as a means of getting the company’s attention and raising awareness about the inhumane conditions the company’s “essential employees” face on a given day. The plight of the everyday worker has only been highlighted during the pandemic: They’ve endured the worst of Covid-19 while those in charge have rolled in the dough, actually increasing their wealth and creating the largest wealth gap in American history. As a result, there has been a renewed interest in the idea of full, concerted nationwide work stoppages.

Leaving America

This is one of the more common considerations: just leaving the country. There’s a lot of discussion about simply fleeing for greener pastures. But how possible is it?

A civil uprising

The most common refrain in the call for resistance is for Americans to just simply storm the White House and send the president into exile like we’ve seen in other countries refusing to fall victim to coups and government takeovers. It’s something we never thought we’d see in America — but it may yet happen.