Caseythoughts All right. I'll admit it. I'm scared.

Now I'm not one who scares easily. I spent a year doing my best to avoid little guys in black pajamas with automatic weapons who wanted to hurt me. But I was 19 years old then, and how many 19 year-olds do you know who are scared of anything?

Fifty years later, and here I am scared by something I never thought I'd see in a million years: the first stages of a military coup in America.

Everyone I have spoken to have heard about Trump's video rant on social media the other day. Forty-five minutes from the White House, behind the Presidential Seal, full of huff, puff, and bluff about millions of votes stolen from him and stealing "his" election. All the people I have spoken to know of the video but had not seen it, ostensibly because of its nature, and the major news media who refuse to carry it. I saw two minutes of it on YouTube and was appalled.

But there is more to this that many seem not to know. Here's the "Rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would have said.

Have you ever heard of the Washington Times? It's the alternative to the Washington Post, and although the Post has its negative side (which need not concern us at this point) the Times has its own unique perspective. It was started by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and is still controlled by his family's corporation. It can be described as somewhat to the right of Attila the Hun. Trump loves it. So do people like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. If Joe McCarthy was alive his name would be high on the masthead, perhaps as its patron saint.

The Washington Times, just about 48 hours before the Chest Thumper in Chief's howl, published a full page ad from General Michael Flynn. Yes, that Michael Flynn, with his Presidential pardon still warm. In this ad, published in conjunction with a nebulous group "We the People Convention", called for Trump to suspend the Constitution. Yes, that Constitution.

Yes, he did. He advocated the establishment of martial law because the United States is "under coordinated assault and siege" and we are "literally under attack from within." He cited Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus (ignoring the fact that this was done in wartime and authorized in the Constitution) and then espousing the idea that if the Supreme Court does not side with Trump's lawyers in overturning the election then a "re-vote" should be established and controlled by the military.

Flynn stated that if Congress and the courts "fail to do their duty under the 12th Amendment" then Trump should declare martial law.

I'm not making this up. With apologies to Dave Barry. Come to think of it this SOUNDS like one of Dave Barry's comical wanderings, but it's not. This ad was signed by such luminaries as Marie Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, and Mark Levin, among others. Mark Levin's lunacy can be heard on my former station, WHCU. I think Levin inherited some of Joe Pine's talk radio genes or maybe some of the more contemporary pod cast wackos.

Be that as it may, this was such a stretch of the First Amendment that during several periods in America's past this would have gotten General Flynn an indeterminate jail sentence. I'm no lawyer, and I know I'm a free speech fanatic, but this is so close to inciting insurrection that a legitimate argument could be made to that effect. Maybe that's exactly what Flynn is hoping for. How ironic with pardon in hand.

Flynn, I believe, is actually putting into print what Trump truly meant in the debate with Biden when he told the Proud Boys to "stand by." I think Flynn is hoping to incite the far left to prepare for (or even instigate) violence—exactly the "national emergency" coup that Trump and Flynn could use to lock the Constitution and thousands of Americans in a vault where the sun of American freedom would never shine again.

First: Constitution 101, if you please, while we still have our rights.

The 12th Amendment was written and ratified following the Presidential election of 1800. The Constitution's original crafters had failed to specify that the electors should designate a Presidential selection AND a Vice-Presidential selection. The founders had specifically denied the possibility of parties. This avoided a potential landmine in choosing a President, confounding the proposed Constitution's passage by nine states. The result was thus: parties are part of the human political mess and were bound to rear their ugly political heads once Washington stepped down. Those factional differences (which also led to ignoring the 800 pound gorilla of slavery in the final Constitutional draft) led to a tie in 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, with only a Constitutional provision that sent the electoral decision to the House of Representatives.

The 12th Amendment was written to have the electors post two ballots, one for President and one for Vice-President and thus preventing that confusion from happening again. It was not written to enable the Executive or the Judicial branches to determine electoral outcomes. Period.

Here is an interesting sidelight to that 1800-1801 scenario. It took the House 36 votes over a period of days to break the stalemate, finally giving Jefferson the nod. This removed a very resentful Aaron Burr to the insignificance of the Vice-Presidency. Burr continued to be a cypher and a thorn in Jefferson's, and America's, butt. He died a very angry and mysterious man. It is also a fact that the governors of Pennsylvania and Virginia put their militia on stand-by, anticipating civil disturbance.

Flynn's citation of the 12th Amendment is so much Giuliani hogwash.

By the way, John Adams was so miffed at being denied a second term that he did not attend Jefferson's inauguration! He left the capital at 4 AM after doing some very nasty things that haunted Jefferson's administration for months. They were known as "midnight appointments".

But I digress. The 12th Amendment only changed the method of voting but continued the essence of the idea of denying the popular election of the President. General Flynn's espousal of utilizing the 12th Amendment is bereft of legal standing: the electors will still function normally in 2020. The issue of whether the Electoral College should be abolished is a separate issue.

What Flynn and Trump seem to be advocating is that such contested states' ballots in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Arizona (read: Giuliani's wish list) should be brought before the Supreme Court and those states should elect separate 'contested' slates of electors bound to Trump, although certified for Biden. This would, in effect, send two sets of electoral votes to the new Congress in January and would thus be seen as a contested election, both sides arguing that they are the legitimate electors, much like competing delegates at conventions (there's that party mess again) and therefore the ensuing Constitutional chaos.

In 1876 three states appointed 'dueling electors' as they were called, creating some chaos in that election. It was finally was decided in the House of Representatives with the ignoble result of the backroom deal to end Reconstruction. The 'Electoral Count Act of 1887' addressed this issue of 'dueling' electors, but it's legality has never been tested in a court.

Constitutional issues aside, we have a gut issue, and that's what has me scared.

When General Douglas MacArthur was fired by President Harry Truman, he was invited to address a rare joint session of Congress. If you might know your history: "Old soldiers never die…" After that emotional speech and prolonged standing ovation, he went down Pennsylvania Avenue in an open limousine to the cheers of tens of thousands. There were some later comments that if he had told his driver to take him to the White House he might have overthrown the executive in the White House and taken over the country by popular acclamation. He did not. And America went on it's merry way with McCarthy-ism, black lists, and full page ads asking "Who Lost China?".

We've come close to this precipice before and I am fearful that we are staring into that chasm again. I know I have a Chicken Little Complex, but I'm proud that I've kept it mostly in check these past four years. I am convinced that now, more than ever before in our history (or at least since the Civil War, which arguably began in 1857 and continued until 1877 with rumblings and dire consequences much like today) that we need be vigilant because, as they say in opera and basketball, "The fat lady ain't sung yet." Trump's screeching about "third world" is ironic at the least—Flynn's newest antics are right out of a Nicaraguan or Zambian dictator's playbook.

This drama, this potential cataclysm, is not over yet. The Electoral College has yet to meet. Giuliani is still receiving his ill-gotten fees, and General Flynn is now blowing a mutinous bugle as a call to arms. Now, dear reader, now is the time to be aware that our rights and our heritage are at risk. The proponents of both "sides" in the run-up to the first Civil War claimed that the Constitution, and God, were on their side. We are watching history playing out before our eyes and as they say, in Narcotics Anonymous, "more will be revealed."

Take care of each other. Thanks for listening.