Can You Spell Oligarchy?

I mentioned a few blogs ago that I had ordered a book titled The Deep State, authored by Mike Lofgren.  I am a very few pages from being done with my reading and found the book interesting, intriguing and quite believable, even if sometimes difficult to piece together, given my life experience.  If you are into such tomes, I think you’d enjoy this writing.  It lays bare much of the inner sanctum of politics.

Lofgren never uses the term oligarchy, that I found anyway, but his book points to that as the Deep State.  An oligarchy is defined as a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.  ‘Deep State’ is essentially his euphemism for the oligarchy that exerts significant, virtually total, control over our country.

You and I look at the energy being expended this week concerning a Republican replacement for ObamaCare.  We see this fight through a lens that we think makes sense, but we neglect to see all, or at least many, of the various and sundry special interests that hold great sway in our nation’s capitol.  It is sometimes, if not more often, that we have difficulty in understanding how so and so came up with that idea, or how this group formed in the House or the Senate.  We see the contortions that our politicians sometimes, often actually, go through as they struggle to find the nexus existing in certain situations.

The essence is simple:  If you and I enjoy our relatively benign lives, we probably don’t want to get into national politics.  We might even be hesitant about state politics but there are fewer moving parts in state government.  All governance at these rarified levels is composed of give and take, you do this for me and I’ll do that for you, etc.  Don’t misunderstand.  I am not suggesting there is anything untoward involved; this is simply the art of governing.

We can probably each think of a politician that we suspect crossed the line and feathered his or her own nest.  That happens but I don’t believe it is as widespread or deep as some might presume.

The Deep State, however, is alive and well and very real.  I suspect that President Trump, having avoided public political positions for his adult life until now, has already seen some of the Deep State unfolded as Lofgren lays it out in his book.  The military/industrial complex, the banking giants, the heavy hitter business people are all part of this Deep State.

I would submit that there is another more insidious group in this Deep State, and that is all those whose very lives depend upon the money they receive from their endeavors.  That might be appointed officials, long time members of the government’s institutions, etc.  Think about the recent FBI/ Attorney General brouhaha.  Think about all the very entrenched, well-known men and women who engage in official activities such as special investigations.  Think of all the personal power that is vested in those people by virtue of their positions and then you begin to appreciate the Deep State that is all over in, and hidden within, our national government.

Lofgren’s sub-title is  The Fall Of The Constitution And The Rise Of A Shadow Government.

We each have seen the Deep State at work, we just haven’t understood or chose not to be concerned about it because, at the time, it was doing something we could approve of so long as we didn’t have to admit we felt that way.  Something like the “chance meeting” on the tarmac in Arizona between Bill Clinton and the sitting Attorney General when Hillary was on the e-mail hot seat is, in my opinion, an example of the Deep State at work.

We saw that when an Illinois state Senator who had never cast a vote, other than ‘present’, in that body came to the White House with very few pennies to his name and bought a multi-multi-million dollar mansion in the District when he left office eight years later.  The book deals that just seem to fall into some laps and not into others are part of the Deep State at work.

The Deep State is all around us and yet it is difficult to see if we’re not dialed into that sort of thing.

The arrival of President Donald Trump has obviously thrown a wrench into the works of this Deep State.  He has not been groomed over years and years to be the person the Deep State would’ve desired, the person who understood how things work.  The Deep State had to get into high gear very rapidly if it was to hold sway, I like that so much I used it twice, and let the new President know what was expected of him.

Except, the new President isn’t part of that club so he is sometimes a bit unpredictable.  It isn’t that President Trump has not been around power.  He has been around and wielded power such as the Deep State members haven’t personally experienced.  His was real world power while theirs was political.  Sometimes those two conflate but not always.  President Trump is sometimes a bit difficult to predict; maybe more often than not since he is only recently a part of the D.C. swamp club.

As we all watch this saga unfold day-by-day, I hope we can keep these thoughts in mind and recognize this for what it is:  President Donald Trump is viewed as an interloper whom the Deep State members haven’t yet had the opportunity to groom and educate as to the ways of national governance.  He is a refreshing breeze blowing over the swampland.  He is not tied to the way it has always been done.  There is nothing wrong with that; it might be better this way than the way it has always been.

Deep State indeed!

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