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Does the "Deep State really exist?

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  • Independent
    Washington
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    Does the "Deep State really exist? Or is just the relabeling the government bureaucracy while adding conspiracy theories?

    Without a doubt the government is a huge bureaucracy, but is it really run by elite few who are not elected to office and conspire together to control what really happens no matter what congress, the president, and the American people decide.

    What do you think?

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I had never heard of the term, "deep state", until more recently. We have over 4 million federal employees, and to me that's what the term denotes -- the largely unelected dedicated civil servants in our various branches of government that keep the wheels of government turning no matter who is elected or appointed to lead them.

    It can be a positive aspect of our society such that someone like Trump cannot change on a dime the minds of these civil servants to think like him or automatically salute his various cabinet heads and other appointments. Most all of them have been vetted by the FBI and I would assume that they take their jobs seriously.

    Take the EPA, for example. Scott Pruitt is attempting to decimate that organization of its dedicated employees, but many are resisting and working to undermine his purges. Is that good or bad?

    Each government organization or agency has a mass of life long employees who understand how their respective branches of government work. They are a culture of sorts, much like every company has a corporate culture. And they have unelected leaders, people who largely have the trust of their fellow employees and are defensive about intrusions by outside political appointments.

    The deep state can act as a positive stabilizing influence when authoritarian leaders like Trump are elected, but also a negative when a leader like Obama wants to bring more efficiency to an organization that might include job cuts (e.g. the military industrial complex).

    In the case of Trump, many of those civil servants have their own networks and can leak when they perceive our constitution is under attack. It's Trump's frustration that unlike his Trump business organization, he cannot control the deep state. I see that as a positive.

  • Independent
    Washington
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    In the case of Trump, many of those civil servants have their own networks and can leak when they perceive our constitution is under attack. It's Trump's frustration that unlike his Trump business organization, he cannot control the deep state. I see that as a positive.

    The way you're describing "The Deep State" is more-or-less the bureaucracy of the federal government, which is the 4 million career employees that get to keep their jobs no matter who is elected. They are the people that implement the decisions that come down from the top and also implement typical business methods the keep the government running. They handle the day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year, etc, functionality of the government. They are people from all poltical parties and\or none at all. Nearly everyone knows or is related to someone who works for the government.

    In Trump World, as defined by trump, The Deep State, are non-elected people both inside and outside of government, that control everything. In Trump World, if congress passes a law that The Deep State does not like, the DS makes sure that law never takes effect or never gets any funding. If trump appoints someone loyal to him to head the FBI, The DS, feeds the guy false information, keeps him in the dark, and conspires against him. In Trump World, The DS controls the lives of the American people much like in George Orwell's 1984. his base is absolute certain that the Deep States exist as an evil enity, and the main stream media is part of the conspiracy. They believe we are living in some version of that 1984 reality. Its almost like Left vs Right is a debate between "The World is round" vs "The World is flat" in terms of extreme differences in perception of what is real and not real.

    In trump world, that sweet old lady that lives in the neighborhood, very well could be part of the Deep State, reporting the activities of what happening in the neighborhood, and has bugs in everyone's home, but everyone just thinks of her as the neighborhood Grandma.

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    It would be hard to unite to solidarity. Unless it analogizes and very probably could the Masons.
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    www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/2018/3/19/17139910/deep-state-poll-trump
  • Independent
    California
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    I think that "Deep State" is just an ominous sounding term for the bureaucracy. In some ways, the unelected bureaucracy really is ominous. But not in any ways we weren't already aware of.

    For example, do you think Trump is au fait with the US's policy on Uganda? How about Mauritius? Of course not. He just signs his consent to the continuation of US policy in those regions, probably without even reading it first.

    Chances are, even Obama had, at best, only the most passing acquaintance with our policy on most other nations, and of domestic policy too. Someone would simply pass him what he needed to know when he needed to know it. Did he check it for accuracy? No. He didn't have time. He had to trust that the civil servants, policy wonks and intelligence agencies were providing him with good information.

    And therein is how the unelected bureaucrats can exert great power over the elected leaders. They can pass them policies that are already written, that they don't have time to read, and ask them to sign or vote. They can give them information that is cherry picked or massaged to influence them in one direction, and so on. It won't always work. The elected officials have the ability to stop and take a look at what they're signing, demand clarifications, and reject it or demand revisions. But it will work a lot of the time, and that makes the bureaucracy powerful.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Yes when one thinks in terms of the deep state as being the vast government bureaucracy, then it has both positives and negatives. The positive, of course, is that the government functions 24/7 and 365 days a year (even with a government shutdown) despite changes in leadership at the top. Just about every president, Republicans and Democrats, have tried to trim the organization to be more cost effective and efficient, and all run into resistance because all those initiatives translates into jobs lost.

    However, as you noted, no president has time to micromanage the 4 million plus employees worldwide. That's why it is so important to hire competent and experienced people for his/her leadership team (including ambassador posts) to be able assess and reorganize staff as necessary to eliminate deadweight or add people where necessary in a changing world, and more importantly to earn their trust.

    Furthermore, when it comes to implementation of policies, it is important for the president and the many competent department heads to communicate a vision and strategy that is well thought out and that can be embraced by the many employees down the line and not undermined. An authoritarian president like Donald Trump shows his weaknesses by his outright ignorance of government and invites contempt by the deep state when he clings to campaign promises that were poorly thought out in the first place...e.g. building the wall, trade deals, Iran nuclear deal, climate change initiatives, immigration and more.

    In Trump's first address to the CIA, for example, he showed just how little he knew, and he certainly didn't earn any respect from the dedicated employees there. Ditto for just about every other organization. He got off to a bad start because he was unqualified to begin with, an exceptionally bad businessman who tried to bring his bad business practices into managing the government. The only thing he was good at was lying...and being a fuckin con artist.

    What we have with the Trump administration is a kakistocracy, a form of government in which the least competent worst persons are in power.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    From Wikipedia: Deep State:

    "In the United States the term "deep state" is used within political science to describe influential decision making bodies within government that are relatively permanent and whose policies and long-term plans are unaffected by changing administrations. The term is often used in a critical sense vis-à-vis the general electorate to refer to the lack of influence popular democracy has on these institutions and the decisions they make."

    Certainly Trump's people have subscribed to a different meaning that is more sinister in his frustration to make the workers follow his every command without question. Authoritarians like Trump have difficulty in that respect so they seek to undermine and demean the very people who are there to serve him... and/or by touting Fox News conspiracy theories regarding their allegiance and motives. Respect is a two way street.

  • Independent
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    The term “deep state” is of necessity meaningless. It is indeterminate. Invented through paranoia it claims that the civil servants in the bureaucracy somehow control everything through anti-democratic cabals. The problem with that is three little words: “someone else knows”.

    The truth is far more obvious. There most certainly is a group of people who wield influence over government and thereby over the citizenry. This group is not organized into a single monolithic block. It exists due to the nature of our government and our economy. It is special interest groups. From the NRA to the Kochs to various environmental groups to AARP and so on citizens aggregate themselves to form groups that wield more power than individuals. The success of these groups varies depending on which party is “in power” and depending upon the issue. This also plays out on a world level through what Rothkopf calls the superclass. Wealth, in both instances, plays a heavy role.

    Now, as to security apparatus that is a different story. Security is function of both law and order as well as attempts to either expand power or maintain it. It is done with the blessing of and through the conscious policies of the nation-state regardless of the type of government of the nation-state. In most democracies it is relatively benign for the citizen who fits into the social power structure (generally white race/supportive of capitalism in varying degree). It’s impact on those who are at the margins of the central social group or outside of it varies depending upon the person, group and situation. It generally manifests itself as police militarized to different degrees internally and espionage organizations externally. In advanced democracies these organizations do not pose a threat to government as they are part and parcel of government.

    “Deep state” is paranoia in its purest form.

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    I can't see a way to organize. Those people in civil service are not dependent that much on superiors for job retention.
  • Independent
    Washington
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    What we have with the Trump administration is a kakistocracy, a form of government in which the least competent worst persons are in power.

    Very little doubt it applies to trump, personal staff, and appointments.

    Just in today's news, the president appointed his personal doctor as head of the VA. The guy may not be a bad person, but the reason trump liked him is because the guy looks and sounds good on TV. Even if he is a decent person, that does not make him qualified to make decisions that impact millions of vets.

    Also, its very interesting that trump, the president of US, is being turned down by the "A" list of attorneys to represent him. These are attorneys that say yes to any other past president, but when they look at the risks, its not worth it. So that leaves trump searching lesser experienced people who may already questionable credentials.

    Job Posting Ad: Wanted Attorneys for POTUS

    Qualifications

    - Looks and sound good on TV
    - Speak fluent Russian
    - Has many Russians contacts
    - Unethical
    - Able to lie on command
    - Experience in money laundering
    - Takes verbal abuse well.
    - Enjoys being randomize
    - Laughs at racist jokes.
    - Female applicants must be hot (like his daughter) and under the age of 30.
    - A brown noser, like Devin Nunes.
    - Law degree not required, but recommended.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    They are advertising a "Deep State" book on TV; published of course by the fanatic Trump clan. It is pure propaganda related to that the FBI as well the CIA are involved to undermine Trump via a "Deep State" conspiracy. Of course this is a counter punch for the Fire and Fury book . Yes the GOP is run by a bunch of crooks.
  • Independent
    California
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    Also, its very interesting that trump, the president of US, is being turned down by the "A" list of attorneys to represent him.

    Why do you think that is? The best attorneys are happy to represent rapists, child murderers and serial killers. Why would they refuse such a high profile job?

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    High profile lawyers are less concerned about their image in representing Trump and more about the fact that he is a loose cannon and cannot be controlled by even his own lawyers. Trump wants lawyers that will follow what he wants to do and not what the lawyers want to do to protect him. He is the worst client, plus he is a pathological liar to not only the public but also his lawyers. They know that. Bad for business.

    Also, John Dean, Richard Nixon's lawyer went to jail for participating in the Watergate cover-up. Robert Mueller will likely go after anyone including lawyers who participate in a "Trump cover up".

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    A Deep State:

    it is in the minds of people who think like Trump. They believe they are the best of the best, they can do no wrong, they believe they have the right to control your thoughts and actions, they believe they own the media so the media does not say anything against them, their next step is mind control, they want to control your every thought and action.