While the media focuses on the rate of inflation, too many guns, too many voting restrictions, too high temperatures, and whatever the controversy du jour may be, the real threat to America lies in one unseen, unnamed man. There is someone out there who is poised to be another Michael Flynn. And if he emerges, the real national nightmare will kick in.
Michael Flynn was not just some crazy Trump zealot who briefly rose to be the National Security Advisor, one of a president's most influential advisors. (Think Henry Kissinger.) He was also an Army Lt. General who at one time commanded brigades that were made up of several thousands of troops. We now know that he is also a conspiracy-spreading lunatic who gleefully suggested the President can impose martial law and seize state voting machines. Think of what he may have attempted had he been able to use those thousands of troops under his command in the days and weeks following the November 2020 election that he believes was "stolen" from the American people.
But our problem isn't Flynn. He's gone and probably soon under indictment.
Our ticking nuclear time bomb is the other Michael Flynn out there that we may not know by name, but is surely planted in a position of great power and influence over thousands of gun-wielding Trump loyalists.
Every state has National Guard and Reserve forces. Big ones. As of 2017, Oklahoma had over 13,000 troops serving under one man or woman. Mississippi: 16,000. Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, and Indiana: 18,000 each. Texas: 33,000. Those numbers are probably larger now.
It's not inconceivable that one of the Major Generals or Lt. Generals who currently command these large state militias may one day decide to break ranks with their governor or Commander in Chief and lead his forces to do something that he or she believes is in the best interest of God and country. Even if it's not.
Imagine if, say, the Major General of the Tennessee National Guard were to pull a Flynn and decide to impose Martial Law or seize voting machines, or stop a legal action by the FBI or another duly empowered federal or local agency to protect the voting apparatus of a state. Imagine if such a scenario led to an armed standoff, or worse, armed conflict. Think the Bundy Ranch times a thousand. Then, what if a political snake like Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott decided to use his troops to support their mission and follow suit in his own state.
Of course this sounds like a doomsday scenario. I'm sure lots of smart folks will lecture me on the military chain of command, the limited authority of individual states' military units, the checks and balances of our great Democracy, and all the fail-safe systems that are in place to deter such an armed rebellion within our military.
Those smart folks may be right. It may never happen. But I guarantee you there are a few well-placed military commanders in our midst who might just do that if given the chance. Look what a few thousand "patriotic Americans" were willing to do on January 6, 2001.
All they lacked was leadership with a few tanks and fighter jets at their disposal. And that man may think just like former Army Lt. General Michael Flynn.
It's a nightmare, of course, but it could still happen. We're just one Flynn away.
* Image by Donkey Hotey