We, all of us, are The Deep State

By Jim Brown

It’s going on 130 days in office for Trump and when I’m not foundering in the depths of a deep, black despair about the future of liberal democracy, I find some solace in the knowledge that although America has been seriously wounded by a populist demagogue, the wound isn’t a mortal one.

I think of Trump as a dangerous parasite – perhaps a disease organism.

The body may be infected, but it is possible to isolate the infection – to provoke an immune response that surrounds the invading organism with layers of firm, fibrous tissue, preventing it from spreading to more vulnerable areas. What am I talking about?

Trumpism has invaded the White House, but hasn’t gotten much further. The movement has been stopped in its tracks by something the alt right media and Fox News have derisively labelled “The Deep State.”

Who is “The Deep State”? A short answer is just about everyone connected in some way to the federal machinery of government who doesn’t want Trump to destroy America. Think about it. There are millions of Americans receiving their paycheques from Uncle Sam – from rocket scientists, diplomats, intelligence officers and four star generals to teachers, filing clerks, fisheries biologists, police officers, road engineers and game wardens. Thousands and thousands of job descriptions and they all are carrying on their important duties, keeping the country running and living up to their name as the best civil service in the world.

They are doing that despite the tremendous strain placed on America’s institutions, it sinews of democracy, by the Trump White House and a corrupt, compliant Republican Party.

And, on a much larger scale, millions of good-hearted, sane, rational, pragmatic Americans, who are not connected to the government in any way, are also, very loosely, part of the “Deep State.” How is that possible? I’m sure nearly every progressive on Facebook or other social media outlets has had the experience of jettisoning chest-thumping, racist, bigoted, quite insane Trump supporters. Bye, bye, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. We’ve isolated and contained them to their own festering cesspool of hate and ignorance. We don’t want them or their toxic views in our lives.

Secondly, we haven’t heard much about this on cable news networks or in major newspapers, but I can’t imagine supporters of Donald Trump who have outed themselves on social media aren’t taking a hit in their professional lives. Would you want someone who supports Trump on the payroll of your non-profit, start-up or green tech business, where many of the new, high-paying jobs of the future are expected to be? I sure wouldn’t. These are people who have embraced a president who is one of the founding fathers of the noxious birtherism movement, who has brought the very worst elements of the loony far right movement into his Oval Office. These are people who support a president who has openly bragged about assaulting women, who is a climate change denier, and a serial liar.

So I think we’ll hear a bit more about their employment struggles in the coming weeks and months.

And then there’s this.

On June 1, Trump officially withdrew America from the Paris Accord, to which nearly 200 countries had signed on, all in a bid to ameliorate the worst of the coming climate catastrophe. America may be out, and atmosphere fouling coal and shale oil may be in, but the world’s sixth largest economy and America’s most populous and prosperous state, California, is continuing to embrace green technology and carbon-slashing strategies. So is New York State and so many, many large corporations, all fighting the good fight.

“Isolate and contain” are the two key words for fighting a deadly contagion. Perhaps it might be possible to do the same with Trump and his enablers at the White House.

His opponents, better known as “the resistance”, will ignore, deflect or jam up bad laws and regulations, fighting a fierce rear-guard action. And it might yet work.

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