It's even worse than it appears..
Wednesday January 10, 2024; 9:08 AM EST
  • I spend a lot of time thinking about words, and when I hear a phrase that seems wrong to me, I'll work on it until I figure out why it seems wrong and what would be a better way to express the actual idea. #
  • That said, I don't think Trump tried to "overturn an election."#
  • More accurately, he tried to "overthrow the government."#
  • Why I say that:#
    • Overturn could be something you do legitimately. If you are convicted of a crime, you could appeal it, be exonerated, and the correct verb would be overturn. Overturn doesn't convey the illegitimacy of what Trump tried to do. The criminality of it. The abhorrence of it, by American values. He tried to "overturn" our most sacred ritual, the transfer of power from one person to another, based on the vote of the people. Overthrow is a much better word for what was done. #
    • When you commit a crime, say for example killing someone, we don't say they tried to illegally use a weapon, that's too technical, we say they're "accused of murder." We focus on the consequences. There are lots of ways to illegally use a weapon, what matters is the intended result.#
    • There is always exactly one president, at all times, in all circumstances. It's spelled out in the 20th Amendment.#
    • On January 20, 2021, we had an actual peaceful transfer of power when Joe Biden took the oath, but the transfer actually took place before he took the oath, at 12PM exactly. #
    • You can also look at the government as a continuous thing, the only difference is there is a new person occupying the office of president. Same government, the one defined by the Constitution. Always on. #
    • So on January 6, 2021, the then-president Donald Trump, tried to destroy the government, replacing it with a new government, one that doesn't follow the Constitution. #

© copyright 1994-2024 Dave Winer.

Last update: Thursday January 11, 2024; 9:23 AM EST.

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