Meacham: Calls for Martial Law to Overturn Election the ‘Nightmare Scenario’ of Last Few Years

Meacham: Calls for Martial Law to Overturn Election the ‘Nightmare Scenario’ of Last Few Years

Presidential historian and informal Biden adviser Jon Meacham on Friday reacted to former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn’s suggestion that the president declare martial law to overturn the election.

Flynn, who was pardoned recently for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian government officials, told Newsmax this week that Trump should invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act, even though the law obviously doesn’t allow him overturn election results.

Flynn’s comments are an example of what Politico noted is an “evidence-deficient” claim: that “Democrats illegally rigged the election and are attempting a coup, and Trump must send in the troops to undo this conspiracy.”

Appearing on MSNBC’s The 11th Hour, Meacham explained how this is a “nightmare scenario” of the last few years in which “there would be a moment where the constitutional dam totally broke.”

“I think that we are fortunate that it seems to be on this side of the national conversation,” Meacham said, indicating that it may have already peaked, “but the fact that it’s even here is a…stark reminder — I wish it were startling — of the burden that is ours anew, which is as citizens to understand that you can disagree with people without resorting to disunion.”

As Politico noted, “While scattered theories about a ‘deep state’ arrayed against Trump have long circulated in MAGA circles, calls for troops to stop a democratically elected president from taking office have taken those ideas to a more conspiratorial and militaristic level.”

To this point, Meacham added some context, referencing an influential 1964 essay by historian Richard Hofstadter, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” to explain the current situation.

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt is a writer and editor from New Hampshire whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, Slate and Areo Magazine, among other places. He holds a BA in Political Science and History from Boston University.