This past Christmas at a social gathering of some former high school classmates I had a brief conversation with an old friend, a liberal—I still have one liberal friend, but he’s about the only one left. Aware of my positions on issues, and, yes, having actually read a few of the columns and essays I’ve written over the years, my friend—let’s call him Dave—enjoys needling me as a “conspiracy theorist.” And at that event he was at it again.
I don’t mind his banter, and, in a jocular fashion, I hand it right back at him.
This past Christmas Dave was all exercised about some of my pieces on “the Deep State,” and insisted that such discussion was nothing more than “right-wing talking points,” “conspiratorial exaggerations about legitimate government,” and, basically, much ado about nothing. The Deep State he explained, did not really exist—rather, I was “making it all up,” and that my criticism was actually misdirected at noble professionals who had dedicated their lives and careers to what he termed “the betterment of all Americans.”
How dare I attack those hard-working men and women who actually “made this country work!” [I am quoting his words, as I distinctly remember them.]
I don’t think my conversation that isolated in today’s America. But I also believe that the more zealous and frenzied the opposition to President Trump becomes, the more the reality of the Deep State has also become. As I have written previously, the election of the “great disruptor” has forced the administrative and managerial elites, fearful of losing their power and influence, increasingly out of the closet into the open. Indeed, Donald Trump, with all his bluster and unorthodox (according to Washington DC) manner of doing and saying things, has torn the mask off, at least partially, of the permanent, largely faceless bureaucratic class that has for so long dominated this country…and our lives.
But until recently, a full admission of this from the agents of the Deep State was unthinkable. The narrative was exactly that of my friend Dave: those upright and dedicated bureaucrats and experts, in government and in think tanks, were simply doing their job as professionals…but now that uncouth and ignorant “bull-in-a-china-shop” Donald Trump had attacked them, and he was thus “endangering our democracy” because of it.
Speaking, as it were, for most of the major media, Glenn Carle, a former CIA “clandestine services officer and an expert on national security,” called the very idea of a Deep State a “dark conspiracy.” Joined by other members of our intelligence agencies, he declared in May 2017:
The president has cast doubt on proven truths, undermined the laws, undermined the judiciary, the free press, the intelligence community…He’s undermined the very values upon which this society was built. So, what do you do if you’re an intelligence official? …This dilemma…has been widely discussed among those in the intelligence community, who have been forced to assess which is the greater threat: Trump’s “authoritarian tendencies” which threaten “the fabric of the nation,” or the clear national-security risks posed by a sustained stream of classified information being made public….”When leaks come from the intelligence community, it’s not to undermine the president or to protect the deep state. It’s to protect democracy — it stems from a sense of profound patriotism,” Carle said. “The deep state does not exist in fact but it exists in the minds of Trump supporters…”
Talk about “projection”! Protecting democracy—by undermining it?…when for decades this country (as most of the nations in Europe) has been virtually ruled and governed by an unelected, untouchable caste of managers whose vision increasingly centers on a universalist globalism in which the citizens of the American republic will have become mere cogs: do your work, pay taxes, but shut up and don’t ask questions about “things that don’t concern you,” like running this country.
But now that symbol and beacon of the American Establishment, The New York Times, has come full circle: yes, the Deep State DOES indeed exist, it asserts, but that is actually a “good thing,” good for you and good for the country. Perhaps the insistent talk by the president and increasingly by some conservatives forced the Times out from the shadows?
Here was the headline of the Times editorial on October 20, 2019: “They Are Not the Resistance. They Are Not a Cabal. They Are Public Servants.”
Ironically, this admission/defense by “the Grey Lady” comes just a few days after a major Leftist columnist and contributing editor to Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi, blew the whistle on his fellow bedfellows. In a major essay—curiously not heralded on Fox and ignored by such media as CNN and MSNBC—Taibbi, no friend at all to President Trump or his policies, suggested that his friends on the frenetic Left “might soon wish they just waited to vote their way out of the Trump era,” and that, indeed, we ARE living through an attempted “coup” against the president and his agenda, that we are watching an hysterical effort to negate and undo the results of the 2016 election by any means.
Taibbi wishes to see the president gone, but he also sees that what is happening before us in Congress, in the press, and in academia, is worse, far more damaging and dangerous to the survival of the American republic than the perceived infractions or lese-majeste’ of Donald Trump. The consequences of what the Left, the Democrats, and Never Trumpers are attempting and inciting are, in fact, driving a poisonous and violent stake into what is left of the republic.