Stop Calling The Deep State ‘Public Servants’
People who work for the government, elected, appointed, or otherwise installed, are typically called public servants, that their role is to serve the public, to do what is good for the people in society. That understanding is naive. People who work for the government in any capacity are government servants, and their service to government is sometimes diametrically opposed to the general good of the citizenry.
The American constitution was designed to limit government and to protect the rights of individuals, not only from other people and foreign threats, but also from the predations of government itself. The constitutional restraints have failed, not because they are defective, but because we, the people, allow politicians and the justice system to skirt its requirements and pick it apart, so that important sections are deemed meaningless.
In his lengthy (1,300+ pages) historical book, Tragedy and Hope, first published in 1966, Carrol Quigley, an insider, gives a quite interesting and frank look at how politics works, not only in America, but around the world. His idea was that it is foolish to think of the two parties as opposites, say the left and the right. The parties should be almost identical except for the surface rhetoric, “so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.” Over the years we have witnessed this happen time and time again. The same terrible things keep happening, government keeps expanding, and the rights of citizens keep diminishing, regardless of who is in the White House or the Capital Building.
What Quigley was describing is what we now know as the “Deep State.” It is the secret establishment that sets the policy and directs the course of politics. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Edward Snowden for exposing just how lawless, powerful, and deep this underground bureaucracy is. Indeed, even Senator Chuck Schumer, an insider himself, warned President Trump that when you mess with the Deep State, trying to drain the swamp, they have “six ways to Sunday of getting back at you.” We are also indebted, ironically, to the escapades of James Comey, John Brennan, and the rest of the deep state operatives who pretty much outed themselves and laid bare the brazen attempts to prevent Trump’s election and the more brazen ongoing attempts to unseat a duly-elected president.
It seems to me that the reason that Trump is so despised by so many elite politicians and insiders is that he doesn’t play their games. He sets his own agenda and plays his own game. Some of the things he does are not helpful, some of his policies seem to be foolish, but he gets things done in spite of tremendous resistance. He is probably the only person in the world who could have and would have done what he did to expose the corruption and try to drain the swamp. Professor Quigley likely would be quite surprised and probably unhappy with the way things are going.
The people of the swamp are what would typically be called public servants. They are not. They are government servants, whose role it is to expand the reach and power of centralized government, at the expense of the American people, as well as foreign citizens and governments.
The Deep State is certainly very deep and powerful. They will not just lay down, apologize, and mend their ways. There are a lot of bad things going on, but we the people need to change, We need to awaken to the threat and hold politicians and bureaucrats accountable. We need to work to limit government power, because public servants don’t serve the public. They serve power.
Daniel J. McLaughlin is the author of “Compassion and Truth-Why Good Intentions Don’t Equal Good Results.” Formerly a finance executive, he is now focused primarily on writing on economics, business, and politics. You can find him at daniel-mclaughlin.com.