UPDATE: A few days after writing this article, Rand Paul (R-KY) appeared on The Laura Ingraham Show podcast wherein he said the following:
"Absolutely, there is a deep state, because the deep state is the intelligence agencies that do not have oversight."
"Only eight people in Congress know what they're doing, and traditionally, those eight people have been a rubber stamp to let the intelligence communities do whatever they want. There is no skeptic among the eight people that are supposedly overseeing the intelligence community."
Who is Rand Paul talking about, exactly? We'll get to that later in this article. For now, let's begin with this idea of the Deep State.
The suspicions go much further back than the coverage we see today. We can trace the suspicions back to the 2016 election.
There's no doubt that the 2016 Presidential Election was a real shocker, not only to Americans but to everyone across the globe.
Numerous polls predicted a Trump defeat. The New York Times forecasted an 85% chance of a Hillary Clinton victory. As election day unfolded, the world gawked in disbelief.
Media was quick to jump on the "conspiracy theory" bandwagon. "The Russians colluded with Trump," they say.
Sure, Russian hackers were posting "fake news" on Facebook to exacerbate America's social divide. But could that have single-handedly tipped the election toward Trump's favor?
In the end suspicions of collusion and conspiracy" began flying. Perhaps mainstream media is right...but for the wrong reasons.
What if most Americans were just deeply suspicious of the current government structure and the possibility that people who weren't "elected" were somehow running the government?
And what if they felt that Trump was the only candidate who can push forward some real change?
Well, according to a report by Monmouth University Polling Institute, that's precisely what had happened.
In fact, the findings of their report claim that approximately 74% of all Americans believe in the existence of a "Deep State," which they define as a collective of unelected officials who control governmental policy.
And here's the ironic thing: despite the fact that our country may be extremely divided on the political front, suspicions of the Deep State show no substantial divide across bipartisan lines.
8 out of 10 Americans believe that the American government secretly monitors the activities of its citizens. 7 out of 10 people believe in a more generalized notion that a deep state exists.
"We usually expect opinions on the operation of government to shift depending on which party is in charge," says Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "But there's an ominous feeling by Democrats and Republicans alike that a ‘Deep State' of unelected operatives are pulling the levers of power."
Interestingly, suspicions of a deep state differ according to two demographic categories: NRA membership and race.
- African Americans, Latino Americans, and Asian Americans (35%) are more likely to believe that a Deep State exists as compared with Whites (23%).
- Non-Whites (60%) are more likely to be concerned that the government is monitoring them as compared with Whites (50%).
- Non-Whites (35%) say that government monitoring is never or rarely justified, as compared with Whites (23%).
- NRA members (43%) are more likely to believe that a Deep State is operating in DC as compared with other Americans (25%).
- NRA members (63%) are more likely to believe that government monitoring of US citizens is widespread as compared with other Americans (51%).
- Both NRA members and other Americans (30% and 26% respectively) believe that government monitoring is never or rarely justified.
The Deep State: a conspiracy theory?
The problem with conspiracy theories is that the ones that turn out to be true remain a "theory" until proven.
What are we to say about Edward Snowden's exposure of illegal NSA activities?
What about the Wikileaks disclosure on how the Dems colluded against Bernie Sanders?
Just recently Facebook was exposed for selling of customers' private data. Had someone blown the whistle beforehand, someone without actual proof but with a solid line of arguments based on deductive reasoning, who's to say that those accusations wouldn't have been relegated to the "conspiracy theory" trash bin?
The absence of evidence is not necessarily an evidence for its absence.
As we mentioned above, Rand Paul not only believes in the existence of a Deep State, he went so far as to name names: John Brennan, Obama-era CIA Director; and James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence.
"John Brennan and James Clapper were doing whatever the hell they wanted, without any judicial warrants, and I think numerous people in the Obama administration were using intelligence — one, to try to bring Trump down; but two, also, they were using it for political purposes. And this is very, very worrisome."
Is this the new normal?
Will this, as Patrick Murray says, "intensify and spread"?
Must we begin monitoring those we suspect to belong to this shadowy collective?
"This is a worrisome finding...The strength of our government relies on public faith in protecting our freedoms, which is not particularly robust. And it's not a Democratic or Republican issue. These concerns span the political spectrum."
The title of this article is The Deep State is Back in a Big Way.
This is something of a misnomer.
It's more likely that the Deep State has been operating undetected for years.
It's time to wake up.