Friday, June 21, 2019

Jealous Masters

     Masters never surrender power willingly. Ours won’t be an exception.

     The syndrome appears to have taken hold around 1913, which was a bad year for several reasons. It advanced “progressively,” tightening its hold over the major instruments of education, communication, and government until, in 1928, a man beloved for his relief efforts in Europe after World War I used them as a launching pad into the presidency...a post for which he was not even remotely equipped.

     Herbert Hoover, mistakenly celebrated by far too many today as a “conservative,” was in point of fact a progressive. Theodore Roosevelt had become the prototype for the progressive Republican while in the White House: one who believes that the weight of government can be constructively brought to bear on “problems” of any variety or magnitude. Hoover was cast from that mold, as his many “private-public partnership” initiatives indicate.

     The media megaphones continued to blare progressive bilge throughout the Thirties, the Nightmare Decade. America’s involvement in World War II caused them to switch foci, but the thrust remained the same: Trust the State. We know what we’re doing.

     In contrast with Hoover, FDR’s progressivism didn’t wait for a “problem” to emerge before springing into action. Rather, he institutionalized the processes that Hoover had invoked case-by-case, creating bureaucracy after bureaucracy with standing powers and a mandate to interfere in the American economy. Thus, the next Republican president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, arrived to confront a “permanent government” firmly aligned with progressive thinking. That fourth branch of government was the de facto master of all American enterprise, capable of making or breaking any commercial concern it might choose for attention. So far, the three Constitutional branches have been incapable of reining it in.

     Longevity in power has produced in the Deep State the attitude characteristic of masters: the conviction that they alone are entitled to rule, and that no one may legitimately stand against them. That’s how the Deep State came to be the implacable enemy we face today.

     [United States Senator from Oklahoma David L.] Boren, formerly a state legislator and governor, went to Washington expecting to make some changes. “What impressed me most is the great power of the bureaucracy compared to that of elected officials. All the talk about growing control by the bureaucracy is not exaggerated. The shift in power is very real.... There is almost a contempt for elected officials.”...

     Senator Boren found, to his surprise, that a Senator has great difficulty even getting phone calls returned by the “permanent” employees, much less getting responsive answers to his questions.

     The voters can’t “throw the rascals out” anymore, because the main rascals are not elected but appointed....

     Regulatory bureaucrats have extra power because they can outlast the elected officials. “Often,” Boren explains, “I’ve said to a bureaucrat, ‘You know this is not the president’s policy.’

     ’True, Senator, but we were here before he came, and we’ll be here after he leaves. We’re not in sympathy with his policy. We’ll study the matter until he leaves.’”

     [From Armington and Ellis, MORE: The Rediscovery of American Common Sense.]

     It might seem that the Deep State, by its nature, would be apolitical, concerned solely with its own power and perquisites. However, the progressive ideology, inculcated in the bureaucracies from their inception by the presidents who oversaw their creation, causes the Deep State to be aligned with the Democrat Party. As we know, that ideology promotes unopposable power in the State. This is a condition the Democrats approve. They hope to use it to maintain their party’s grip on high office.

     Today, Karin McQuillan has a few thoughts on the subject:

     America cannot continue as a republic without the acceptance that one party routinely will be turned out of office. Democrats no longer accept that bedrock principle of American liberty. They see themselves as the only party entitled to govern. “Trump Derangement Syndrome” and the Russian collusion frame-up are two faces of the same coin: Democrats now reject the orderly succession of power through duly constituted elections.

     Please read the whole thing. It’s an excellent explanation of why the Democrats hope it will return them to power – indeed, why no other available approach is more likely to do the job.

     The conviction underlying the Democrats’ promotion of Trump Derangement is what interests me most. They believe that they and only they are entitled to rule, and so are unwilling to tolerate any opposing force. That Trump, a political outsider, should have unseated them was bad enough. That he’s overturning all political precedent by keeping his campaign promises is salt in the wound. That by doing so he’s given the lie to all their propaganda about “globalism,” “transnationalism,” “the era of limits,” and “the new normal” might prove fatal to them.

     The masters of the Deep State see the current situation as a win-or-die dilemma. They believe their survival requires that Trump be brought down, in as garish and dramatic a fashion as possible – and they could well be right.

     The Democrats’ luminaries are wholly in accord with this aim. They see Trump as their mortal enemy. Simply by doing what he’s proposed to do, he could doom them to an obscurity like unto that of the Whigs. So they’ll keep the TDS carnival rotating until they’ve all been unseated. Unfortunately, given the power of incumbency, especially in states such as California, Illinois, and New York, that could take three decades or more.

     The thing for conservatives to beware is the Democrats’ accumulation of para-partisan allies, especially in Big Tech. This is already a subject for serious concern. The World Wide Web was critical to Trump’s 2016 victory. If his supporters are silenced it could badly reduce his chances to gain a second term. Worse yet, it could provide an avenue for the Quisling Republicans of the political Establishment, who’ve never approved of Trump and have opposed him both explicitly and implicitly, to regain the mastery of the GOP.

     It’s a time for vigilance, and for action.

1 comment:


How ironic. First, good piece, as usual.

I am very amused that you and I, in reading the American Greatness piece, picked out one key concept: "They believe that they and only they are entitled to rule..."