“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill’s renowned words come to mind when evaluating the performance of Trump. Love or hate him, Trump is an anomaly on the political scene. He came out of nowhere and defeated dozens of the most powerful politicians in the nation. Most of all, he is not even a politician! Just a man with a mission. The election was only the first step. Now the real work begins.
Anyone paying attention notices that Trump hit a wall. His enemies stonewalled him. Despite their broad executive powers, American presidents are not yet dictators. They not only have to work with Congress, but also the entrenched bureaucracy. Ironically, the president’s own bureaucracy poses more of an obstacle than other branches of government. The government agencies, the lifetime bureaucrats, are Trump’s next challenge. Otherwise known as the Deep State.
The Deep State: everything wrong with government. Slow. Changeless. Wasteful. People who worked for the government all their lives see Trump as a direct threat to their parasitical careers. They will not go away just because Trump won the election. As a candidate on the right, Trump promised to cut back on government. Limit spending, eliminate senseless regulation, and reign in government absurdity. Unfortunately, a great many profit from the status quo. Deep State jobs not only pay well, but offer benefits unseen in the private sector and require comparatively little effort. Like other aspect of government, the Deep State is not customer focused at all, produces nothing consumers demand, and responds to no market signals. The Deep State simply consumes like a voracious predator the scarce resources of society. Trump’s mere lip service to free market principles surely aggravates their flight or fight mechanisms.
The whole idea of Trump terrifies these people. Imagine, a person with a relatively mindless government job with a great salary and great perks. Minimal customer skills. Now imagine that person after several years of such work thrusted into the free market, at the mercy of customers and competition. The Deep State feels absolute panic. Being a self made man, Trump answers to no one. He made no deals and no secret agreement. He funded his own campaign. Typical politicians absolutely must compromise to win elections. Trump on the other hand, does not have to play ball. He can actually deliver his campaign promises, focusing more on the voters rather than unelected Deep State bureaucrats.
The Deep State realizes Trump threatens their relevance in governing. They resist him not because of party affiliation, but because Trump dared to independently craft policy before seeking their support. This insult cannot go unpunished. Ambitious Deep State bureaucrats will not sit idly by, quietly watching Trump dismantle their privileged empire. Trump’s blatant campaign criticism of the Deep State immediately caused a construction of defensive walls to his policy initiatives. Even something as simple as repealing Obamacare, one of the most hated pieces of legislation in American history, faced enormous resistance. The entire healthcare industry adjusted to Obama’s signature legislation already, and with it a whole edifice of Deep State bureaucrats. The lack of will in Congress to openly oppose all the lobbyists, insurance bureaucrats, and big donors is no surprise.
Deep State bureaucrats hugely succeed in implementing their agendas. For this reason, change in government is nearly impossible. Just look at Obama’s recent example. Like Trump, he campaigned to stop the endless wars oversees. To leash the military industrial complex. After highly controversial and unpopular wars under Bush, the American people overwhelmingly supported Obama. However, he found out the hard way the difficulty of reversing course: Obama has the distinction of being at war every single year of his presidency. And of course there is Obamacare. Since their Congressional victories 2010, Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare failed miserably. Also since Reagan Republicans campaigned to either eliminate or severely restrain the Department of Education and gotten nowhere. The Deep State wins nearly every conflict of significance.
This is precisely why changes in government policy is nearly impossible. After any state interference, from tax laws to surveillance to war, and entire apparatus grows to profit. Solidifying like concrete, the bureaucracy simply becomes a fact of life. After Carter created the Department of Education, the only and best chance to abolish it was with Reagan. Even after a few short years of its establishment, he failed. Eliminating the agency now, after decades of increased power, funding, and influence, is not only impossible, but spells political suicide. Once created, society adjusts and adapts to insulate bureaucracies from pressure. Now the average American cannot even conceptualize schooling without the Department of Education. The Deep State will fight any efforts of downsizing, along with support from the public. This is just one example of many powerful Deep State bureaucracies.
We can see how powerful the Deep State is just by examining the first few months of Trump. He failed to repeal Obamacare. Judges blocked his attempted immigration bans. And with seeming escalations in the Syrian Civil War, Trump’s promise of America first appear largely toothless. Little has changed. Trump however has an impressive track record of overcoming obstacles. Triumph over the Deep State undoubtedly will prove his most arduous undertaking. The election was step one. Now the fight against the Levitation truly begins. Stay strong and never cede ground.
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