GOP congressman says it's time to stop 'fetishizing the idea of overthrowing the government'

·3 min read

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois appeared Wednesday on Anderson Cooper 360 and spoke about the growing desire among supporters of former President Donald Trump for a military coup to oust President Biden. Talk of a coup has been in the news recently due to remarks retired Army general and former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn made over the weekend.

At a far-right event in Dallas, a member of the audience asked Flynn, “I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?” Flynn replied, “No reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That’s right.”

Flynn’s answer was met with applause, despite the fact that what happened in Myanmar was a violent military takeover, during which, civilians were murdered.

Kinzinger responded to this sentiment on Monday.

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On Wednesday, Kinzinger explained to those calling for a coup how it would go.

“A lot of people, you know, imagine that a coup or an armed insurrection is just going to be like camping out with the boys. It's going to be a great time drinking some PBRs. That's not true,” Kinzinger said. “There’s going to be death, and that death is going to be people you love.”

Kinzinger also explained that basic needs that Americans take for granted would no longer be available.

“If you get medicine from your local pharmacy, if you like to put gas in your car, you know, any of those luxuries that you have today, you like to get on the internet,” Kinzinger said, “all that will be gone if this government collapses.”

Though Trump’s approval rating among active duty members of the military was fairly low leading up to the 2020 election, many of his supporters believe the military would be on their side if a coup were to occur. But Kinzinger says that’s just plain wrong.

“It's time that we get past fetishizing the violence in this. It’s time that we get past fetishizing this idea of overthrowing the government, and the Second Amendment encouraging us to overthrow the government,” Kinzinger said. “That is reserved for times, frankly, if there is a military coup, which won’t happen because no military member in the United States military that takes the oath seriously would participate.”

Kinzinger, who is one of the few Republicans willing to publicly rebuke Trump, also blamed Republican leaders who have failed to speak honestly about the Jan. 6 insurrection, and the 2020 election, for the growing calls to overthrow the government.

“You have people with this fetish for an overthrow violence thing, and it’s being fed by leaders that just don't want to tell them the truth,” Kinzinger said, “because it may be harder to tell them the truth than it is to just go along with this.”

Anderson Cooper 360 airs weeknights at 8 p.m. on CNN.

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