This morning’s hot topic is a new poll, interpreted by some as evidence of increasing public belief in conspiracy. Extrapolating, some talking heads seem to fear that Trump’s new deep state conspiratologist might find a wide audience.
But here’s what the Monmouth University poll site actually says, with added emphasis on the “definition” offered by the pollsters:
Few Americans (13%) are very familiar with the term “Deep State;” another 24% are somewhat familiar, while 63% say they are not familiar with this term. However, when the term is described as a group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy, nearly 3-in-4 (74%) say they believe this type of apparatus exists in Washington. This includes 27% who say it definitely exists and 47% who say it probably exists. Only 1-in-5 say it does not exist (16% probably not and 5% definitely not). Belief in the probable existence of a Deep State comes from more than 7-in-10 Americans in each partisan group, although Republicans (31%) and independents (33%) are somewhat more likely than Democrats (19%) to say that the Deep State definitely exists.
I am not a conspiratologist, nor am I susceptible to Trump’s incoherent claims of corruption, but I would have answered yes. Because I think some bureaucrats and political appointees (i.e., “unelected government and military officials”) are trying to mitigate the damage that the White House is doing. And I think that some of this mitigatin’ is being done in secret.
God bless the deep state.