As the walls seem to close in on President Trump’s White House amid a criminal investigation into the 2016 election, we’re hearing more and more from Trump and his supporters that there’s a conspiracy afoot involving what they call the “deep state” or “shadow government.” This is the idea that a group of non-elected officials in the federal government are operating under the shroud of darkness to undermine and destroy Trump’s presidency.
Former GOP congressional staffer and author Mike Lofgren says the “deep state” is real.
In fact, he’s largely responsible for popularizing the term here in America. But, he says it’s nothing like the shadowy conspiracy theory Trump and his followers claim it to be. Instead, he says it’s a group of people who operate right out in the light of day. We know their names. We know how they pull the strings in Washington.
In fact, his description of the deep state sounds a lot like what we talk about here in Michigan when we talk about the unintended consequences of things such as legislative term limits.
Lobbyists, political donors, and other non-elected people do carry a lot of power over the policy making process, says Lofgren, who authored the book “The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government.”
But these are things we can understand and do something about if we simply educate ourselves about how they wield influence, he says.
“Our liberal democracies are inherently fragile,” Lofgren tells Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson. “They don’t keep going by themselves.”
“If there’s insufficient vigilance on the part of the citizenry,” he says, “it opens the door for all kinds of engineering at state capitols or in Washington.”
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.