Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

Is there a Deep State? (with Prof. Michael J Glennon)

Created: 10 January, 2022
Updated: 14 August, 2022
2 min read

The idea of a “deep state” in American government has become a hot topic in recent years, but does it actually exist? And is it good, or bad?

This episode's expert guest, Prof. Michael J Glennon, is possibly the best person on the planet to help us figure out the truth.

In this interview, Prof. Glennon explains his book, "National Security and Double Government."

Amongst other topics, he discusses how the reality of a "double government" of the national security complex intersects with the more controversial term "deep state."

(Interview Starts at 5:45)

In its most basic definition, the concept of a “deep state” is that the politicians you elect actually have far less decision-making power than is publicly presented. Deep state theories suggest that behind the scenes there is a second group of individuals you know little about, and who have little public accountability, actually calling the shots on most important decisions.

On the far-right, the concept of a “deep state” quickly goes further into Qanon narratives of good vs evil. In those stories the shadowy individuals truly in charge are inevitably up to elaborately orchestrated plots to destroy all personal freedom, enslave decent Americans, and snatch up children for unimaginably horrific ends.

While to the lazy-left, the other extreme of the political spectrum, the idea of a “deep state" is only something to pompously sneer and snicker at. Or even worse, embrace they sometimes now embrace the very undemocratic concept of a "deep state" as some sort of big-government savior-overlord which will protect them from anything they fear (mainly those people on the far-right).

So what is the truth of the “deep state," Professor Glennon will help us understand.

Michael J. Glennon is Professor of Constitutional and International Law at Tufts University. He was Legal Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Professor Glennon has served as a consultant to various congressional committees, the U.S. State Department, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. He has appeared on Nightline, the Today Show, NPR's All Things Considered and other national news programs. His op-ed pieces have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, International Herald-Tribune, Financial Times, and Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung.

In this episode, Prof. Glennon and Jim cover the following topics:

How US government is designed to work… “not to promote efficiency, but to protect people from autocracy”

Checks and balances, separation of powers, decentralization of power

Historical rise of bureaucracy, and political parties

Madisonians v Trumanites

1940s creation of national security state

United States moving from republic to more unaccountable system

Importance of civic virtue

Trumanites vs Trump

CIA and NSA abuses of 1960s and 1970s, spying on Americans, MLK, anti-war protests

Trumanite influence on presidency, congress, courts

No conspiracy, instead a “system” that has developed and grown that encroaches on Madisonian structure, even with good intent

Dangers going forward unless people begin to wake up to the way US government is designed to work

Please remember to tell people about the show, and purchase Prof. Glennon's book "National Security and Double Government" at Amazon or your favorite bookseller.