The Administrative State vs. We the People
The last years have brought a dizzying pace of socioeconomic and political changes and while some seem benign, others portend big, likely negative and even dangerous consequences for we, the American people.
And with that, 2023 is shaping up to be an even more stark example of the managed decline or devolution of life as we know it with the US administrative state boldly establishing itself as a fourth branch of government unafraid to flex authoritarian muscle against average Americans.
What (or who) is the administrative state?
Sometimes called the Deep State, the administrative state constitutes unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who have taken up professional residency in the departments and agencies comprising the federal government. They occupy a variety of administrative and regulatory positions and have often served across multiple administrations regardless of prevailing political party affiliation. Some may be lifelong civil service employees while others circulate between government, think tanks, policy research/advocacy institutes and even the private sector.
Recent high profile administrative state actors include former Federal Bureau of Investigations Director James Comey, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan and of course, former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci. Numerous second and third tier administrative state personnel were showcased as witnesses during President Donald Trump’s two impeachment proceedings.
The term “administrative state” first surfaced with regard to those in direct contact with the White House and other executive branch officials. In 2020, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus and subsequent pandemic outed the public health administrative state and its power. Since then, other government agencies appear to be following suit by inserting themselves openly and more stringently into American lives. The administrative state appears committed to greater prominence as is evident with actions by the Department of Justice, the State Department, the Department of Defense, the Internal Revenue Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Education to name a few.
Time for high alert
Look at the last 20 or so days. We’ve had a CCP spy balloon allowed to travel across our country with a route including some of America’s most sensitive military installations. Only after the balloon finished its reconnaissance mission was it shot down by American forces. But make no mistake – the data collected was safely back in the hands of our country’s greatest foe with senseless justifications peddled to a recognizably less safe American population.
And the additional balloons shot down shortly after this first incursion cast even more suspicion on the current administration’s capabilities, judgment and motivations. Whether the response was sleazy or sloppy, neither choice bodes well for we, the people.
Simultaneously a massive train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, resulted in an environmental calamity made worse by a controlled release and then controlled burn of chemicals yielding toxic gas that was used as a weapon during World War I. Two weeks later, Norfolk Southern, operator of the train, has been extremely slow to respond.
Federal and state officials are posturing to deflect blame and accountability while the residents of this eastern Ohio village are left with a basically uninhabitable town, chemical-related illness, dying pets, livestock and wildlife along with government assurances that “all is safe.” This position is helping to thwart the prospect of significant federal assistance as all involved also know the most devastating impact (i.e., life threatening disease) will likely take years, even decades, to surface.
Perhaps an upcoming visit to the area by President Donald J. Trump will create enough spectacle that, if nothing else, will guilt trip the Biden administration into substantive action. How shameful though if that’s what it takes.
And remember when the Department of Justice colluded with the National School Boards Association to target outspoken parents who attended school board meetings in order to attempt accountability with regard to the questionable actions and policies of school officials? Similar targeting has now been revealed against traditional Catholics.
From The New York Post:
An eight-page dossier leaked by former FBI agent Kyle Seraphin earlier this month indicated that the FBI’s Richmond, Va., office, at the behest of the Department of Justice, was going after “radical traditionalist” Catholics and their possible ties to “the far-right white nationalist movement.”
“The FBI’s Richmond Division would like to protect Virginians from the threat of ‘white supremacy,’ which it believes has found a home within Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass,” Seraphin wrote on Uncoverdc.com, where he leaked the memo.
The dossier, which was put together with help from the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s list of alleged “hate groups” with Catholic ties, has since been deleted after a media backlash. The memo did not make clear if it was just so-called “rad-trad” Catholics that the FBI was targeting — or traditional Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass as well.
Church-going Catholics are now in the crosshairs! As the article notes, public outcries to media coverage appear to have prompted a retreat from this effort, but it still serves as one more example of government seeking to alter or otherwise assert control over the lives of those it theoretically serves.
But as with the school board parents, will standing down from this initiative just tee up another “subversive” group? Maybe Meals on Wheels volunteers or Good Sam Club members could be next.
No level of government seems interested in doing the right thing for the right reason and with this, the American public faces vulnerability not before seen in our entire history.
By accident or design, vulnerability abounds
The three incidents detailed above each exemplify a threat category facing Americans.
The CCP balloon illustrates growing national security threats and our ever-weakening status on the global stage while highlighting America’s domestic vulnerability. And make no mistake. Threats to our national security – especially in today’s world – are threats to your personal security. The next conflict isn’t going to leave the US homeland untouched as in prior wars.
The East Palestine train derailment is emblematic of our crumbling infrastructure. For all the tax dollars thrown at programs alleged to address our railways, airports, highways, bridges and other critical networks, the only substantive change seems to be increased risk of failure. And with this failure comes – most acutely – increased physical and economic vulnerability.
Then we have government’s targeting of outspoken parents as well as traditional Catholics. (And not to mention social media censorship!) Is the exercise of free speech, petitioning of one’s government and practicing the religion of one’s choice as guaranteed in the Constitution now a personal freedom vulnerability for liberty-oriented Americans?
Tucker Carlson addressed American vulnerabilities in a recent monologue. His buried lede: American food and water supplies along with infrastructure and energy systems are under attack. Government is silent on these strikes while corporate media barely, if at all, covers the growing number of incidents and certainly does nothing to connect the emerging dots. But all the while, these vulnerabilities and their consequences abound.
Time to pick a side
Americans are more vulnerable today than perhaps they have ever been. The two-front use of unrestricted warfare against the American people will be the topic of an upcoming column as both the CCP and the US government (elected officials partnered with the administrative state) use this tactic to target the American way of life.
And we haven’t even touched on the dangerous prospect of World War III thanks to US defense of Ukraine’s eastern border while our own southern border is open for anyone including terrorists and criminals to violate our national sovereignty and participate in a government-sanctioned invasion destined to forever change our country.
Our government has shown no desire to protect its citizenry and even worse, it appears to be demonstrably engineering new vulnerabilities within many aspects of our society (economic, national defense, societal, educational, etc.). At a point you run out of institutions with whom to lose faith in.
Meanwhile, all is not lost, but it is time to pick a side. The American people can be a strong and resilient people. And to that point, folks from a variety of geographic, socioeconomic and political backgrounds are thankfully waking up and coming together to face the harsh realities at hand. Still, however, too many are complacent and risk mindlessly sleepwalking us all into a grim future that can’t be reversed.
Again, it’s time to pick a side. Let’s help (and pray for) the less attentive among us to awaken and choose wisely.
Lou Ann Anderson worked in central Texas talk radio as both a host and producer and currently hosts Political Pursuits: The Podcast. Her tenure as Watchdog Wire–Texas editor involved covering state news and coordinating the site’s citizen journalist network. As a past Policy Analyst with Americans for Prosperity–Texas, Lou Ann wrote and spoke on a variety of issues including the growing issue of probate abuse in which wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney are used to loot assets from intended heirs or beneficiaries.