Recognizing the changing needs in a changing world (we want ad revenue, give us ad revenue), WNV has decided to pivot from jokes to serious, in-depth analysis. From now on, all our posts will be detailed explainers on topics that we know our big-brained readers will appreciate as purely intellectual exercises, due to just how big their brains are (click an ad). There’s a lot going on out there and we hope to provide a distraction from the uncertainty with a little bit of hypothetical fun. In this, our first installment of Warranty Now Vox Media, our randomly chosen topic is:

Tips for Preventing a Coup in your Ostensibly Democratic Country


Alright, listen, it’s our first one. We clearly need some kind of QA process for these things going forward, but it’s too late now. Let’s just sit back and try to relax and game out this completely imagined, no-stakes mental exercise.

1. Don’t elect someone who might try to do one

Ah. Well… Hm. Okay. Hindsight is 20/20 and all. Passing on the first one is not a great sign but I’m sure there’s like ten or twenty more of these to go that we’ll be absolutely golden on, and even 90% is still an A, right?

2. Ensure that other branches of your government have both the power and will to prevent a takeover by another

Sure, your democracy may be old, but what really makes it work is the flexibility to change and adapt it to new circumstances that the people who originally designed it never could have anticipated. That’s why it’s important that you’ve been maintaining it since the start with relatively minor updates and modernizations to address current concerns, so that when something really big happens, it won’t require the first change in decades all at once. Wait, what? You’ve just been pressing the “remind me tomorrow” button every day for 200 years while one branch has slowly amassed power over the others? That probably wasn’t a great idea, but at least we still have the heart of democracy to look to for help: the people.

3. Always maintain the trust of the electorate by being responsive to their demands

Imagine the kind of a state that doesn’t enact the will of the obvious majority of its people. What a recipe for disaster! Why would its leaders even do something like that; ignoring broadly popular policies in favor of maintaining the status quo sounds like the perfect way to get voted out of office in favor of people who actually support them! Practically political suicide if you ask us– which I am now reading here that you did not. Wow. Oh, wow. Shit. Well, even if they feel like their vote is meaningless, the people will at least fight to support the government that takes care of them, right?

4. Provide for the material needs of citizens so that they feel good about their government

Sorry, $1200? Once? That’s it? Oh god, oh fuck.

Okay, you know what, you’re all fucked. This sucks. We’re un-pivoting back to dick jokes and being happily untethered from any sort of reality. Bye! Good luck!