A recent survey by Monmouth University in New Jersey has revealed an interesting detail about American public opinion: The majority of the electorate believes that the so-called deep state is the true government.
Six out of 10 Americans think that government officials who were neither elected nor nominated to office have too much influence on federal policy. Only 26 percent affirm that there is a fair balance between elected and non-elected officials in making policy decisions. And it’s an idea fairly shared between the majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
“We usually expect opinions on the operation of government to shift depending on which party is in charge. But there’s an ominous feeling by Democrats and Republicans alike that a ‘Deep State’ of unelected operatives are pulling the levers of power,” declared Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. [
Here’s an interesting fact: Few people are actually familiar with the term deep state, accounting for less than 25 percent of those interviewed. But when the term is explained to them as being “a group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy,” three-quarters of those interviewed say this type of apparatus effectively exists in Washington and that it wields a genuine power. Only one in five people interviewed says that it doesn’t exist or that it probably doesn’t exist. Republicans and Independents are the most convinced that this deep state exists.
The issue is also very interesting because it is linked to sufficiently widespread concern among the electorate about the state’s violation of privacy. There is a deep state that cannot be controlled and there is surveillance being conducted on behalf of these apparatuses.
The bulk of the American public believes that the United States government is involved in mass surveillance of its own citizens. Slightly more than half of the population is either very worried (23 percent) or a little worried (30 percent) about the U.S. government monitoring its activity and invading its privacy. Only 22 percent are not at all worried about this phenomenon. Although not everyone is worried in the same way, 8 of 10 Americans believe that the United States government currently monitors or spies on the activities of American citizens.
“This is a worrisome finding. The strength of our government relies on public faith in protecting our freedoms, which is not particularly robust. And it’s not a Democratic or Republican issue. These concerns span the political spectrum.” Murray said. [https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/monmouthpoll_us_031918/]
From a political standpoint, this survey can even be compared and contrasted with Donald Trump’s election. The concept of a deep state invaded the national political debate during the 2016 presidential election. The Donald often used it expressly to attack the government agencies that, in his opinion, did not thoroughly investigate his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. And when he was elected, Trump maintained that this deep state, which he believed involved the Justice Department, federal agencies, ex-President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, aimed to delegitimize his term by attacking his political objectives. It seems that at the base level, Americans are also convinced.