The Deep State conspiracy
The president likes to advance the Steve Bannon idea of de-constructing the federal government, wherein lies, beneath the surface so far no one has seen it, the “deep state.”
Yes, the Deep State is comprised of hidden federal employees who seek to undermine this president to insure his failure. But if the Deep State really did exist, one could only ask, “why bother?” This president is certainly more than capable of self-destructing without any help.
Consider, for example, the poor effort to fill administrative positions in the Donald Trump presidency. If the president actually feared the Deep State, would he not fill all these open positions with people he trusts to fight against the menace of those seeking to cause his downfall? Yet he has more unfilled positions in the White House and his federal agencies than any previous president — hardly an indication of fear of those hideous bureaucrats determined to undermine the president.
Unfortunately, it takes very little to feed Mr. Trump’s insecurities. After Trump claimed the largest inauguration attendance in the history of America, a National Park Service employee retweeted Trump’s tweet with the fact that his inauguration was not the largest.
That distinction went to Barack Obama’s 2008 inauguration. Ah ha, must have thought the president, someone noting those pesky things called facts. How offensive. The Deep State.
This week, the president called newly-rigged election victor Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his latest success in mocking the free election process, neglecting to mention to President Putin that the U.S. stands with Great Britain against Russia poisoning British citizens on British soil. Trump may also have failed to remind Putin that Putin’s “help” is no longer needed in American elections.
All these executive conversational oversights seemed irrelevant to President Trump. His concern was someone leaked to the media that his foreign policy advisors had, in all caps, guided Trump “NOT to congratulate” the dictator for his victory mocking true free elections. Again, in Trump World, it must be the Deep State trying to destroy his presidency when he is doing just fine at the same goal himself.
It was 1883 when the Civil Service was first formed. At the time, Washington newspapers were running ads to sell government jobs and a change in administration brought the firing of virtually all government employees. That system did not work so well when competency and expertise became more worthwhile metrics for government service than cash payments and blind loyalty to a campaign or candidate.
Government service then rose in perceived prestige through the mid-1900s, as the influence of government grew, and the nation grew in population and prosperity. But after the election of Republican Ronald Reagan, and his subsequent statement that, “government is the problem,” government service has since declined in honor and status.
And that brings us to the Trumpian idea that two things make one unfit to serve. First, having even been or donated to anything Democrat makes one unfit to serve. While the president surely, in theory, knows patriotic Americans can be both Republicans or Democrats, and donors to either party, as Trump has been personally. Today the Deep State is littered with dastardly Democrats in a conspiracy against Trump.
The second indication for Deep State devotees that one is a threat is anyone criticizing this president, including the Department of Justice, The FBI, selected judges, and even the now-resigned-in-disgust White House ethics officer.
To be fair, there are certainly federal employees who are not impressed with this president.
For example, the gutted State Department has few Trump supporters, and likely the same is true at the EPA, now run by someone determined to destroy the EPA. The Department of Education professionals have expressed their amazement at their agency operating under an administrator who knows just about nothing about public schools.
There are bureaucrats who disagree with their president. So, it is in every administration. But, until Trump, no president has been willing to demonize the entire federal bureaucracy as enemies of the state.
Or is the real problem a rogue president who thinks he is running the entire government himself during his bathroom breaks from Fox News?
Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.