The Deep State: Should We Have Our Knickers In A Twist?

The words Deep State is considered a pejorative especially by Trump supporters. It is defined as: “an alleged secret network of especially nonelected government officials and sometimes private entities (as in the financial services and defense industries) operating extralegally to influence and enact government policy.” Its first known use in America was in 2000 according to the dictionary.

If you accept that definition what do you think of this definition: A Deep State is: “”an alleged network of especially nonelected government officials and sometimes private entities (as in the financial services and defense industries) operating to influence and enact government policy.” Are you comfortable with the latter definition as you are with the first one?

By changing two words does that influence your thinking about the concept of Deep State? Does taking out those two words out of the definition destroy the concept of Deep State? Look at the latter definition. It describes something that we are all familiar with as occurring multiple times every day not only in Washington but throughout the nation. Not only is it well known and accepted it is identified by a street name: “K Street.”

The latter definition is what lobbyist do everyday. Do you approve of lobbyists? I suppose the answer would depend upon the matter which interests them. There are lobbyists representing the Evangelical Church’s concerns; there are lobbyist promoting the Green Deal. There are lobbyists for bigger nuclear weapons; there are those for doing away with all such weapons. They are endemic to America and those seeking to have something done by their representative must use them to accomplish their goals.

I assume the folk who use the term Deep State as a boogeyman do not mean to include lobbyists because they obviously would not be against something they often find useful. So we have to deal with the first definition that is exactly the same as the second except for two words: “secret” as in “secret network” and I suppose more importantly “extralegally” as in “operating extralegally.” 

With respect to secret, a great deal of lobbying is done in secret even though a lobbyist is supposed to register with the government the identity of those he is lobbying for. We have as an example of one who failed to do the the recently pardoned General Flynn who made a secret deal with the Russian ambassador Kislyak who failed to note he was working for the Turkey authoritarian leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Then again the problem with secret is no one knows it is happening or is not happening precisely because it is secret unless it is exposed and then it is not secret anymore like the recent Pompeo, Netanyau, and Mohammed bin Salman meeting in Riyadh prior to the assassination of Iran’s nuclear big wig scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. I have to assume the “secret” we are dealing with are a cabal that no one knows exists, or at least who is a member of it. If that is the case, then those who believe it exists are acting on no evidence like the flat earthers or against evidence like the creationists.

That leaves the word “extralegally” defined by Merriam and Oxford dictionary as: “beyond the authority of the law; not regulated by the law” which makes no sense to me. Do you suggest when I bake bread I am acting extralegally?  The example offered by Oxford is: “there were extralegal means through which to render the NAACP impotent.”

Some suggest “extralegal” is another way of saying “illegal” The Century dictionary says: “Being beyond or outside of the domain of law: sometimes used in the sense of illegal.” Examples go from: “The poor, not being stupid, of course end up building, holding, buying and selling their domains in an “extralegal” market – a domain outside the official law”; to: “People are not engaging in extralegal activity for any reason but to improve their lot in life; whether that be a second car or an air conditioner for their Paris apartment;” to: “The United States government has called on China to stop what it calls the “extralegal” abductions and detentions of lawyers and human rights activists”.

Basically as best I can make out those who try to scare us with the idea the Deep State is running the country are referring to lobbyists whose identities we do not know who are doing things that are tawdry but not criminal. When you come down to it there really is not anything to concern ourselves with as long as the idea of lobbyist does not concern you.