America may be some sort of republic, or democracy, or society. But the government running it is none of these. It is a bureaucracy. A massive, obese, lumbering administrative state drunk on power and infatuated with hidebound hierarchy and Byzantine rule structures that lend it the authority to reign over the supposedly ungovernable while pretending to care about them.
America’s bureaucratic agencies are wretched hives of scum and villainy. They create just enough goodness to fuel their propaganda machines, which are used to confirm the biases of the idiot masses, keeping them cocooned in ignorance and handily at heel. These agencies are devoid of any trace of moral or ethical redemption. To the extent they accomplish anything favorable, it is in spite of the sum of their collective intentions.
Success in one of these agencies requires strict adherence to the “5 Ds.” Deceipt, duplicity, dithering, dissembling, and outright dishonesty. Getting to the top echelon and surviving once there means not just tolerating but mastering these skills. It means being or becoming a greaseball politician.
No one is immune.
Colin Powell spent four decades building a reputation of credibility and honor, becoming so popular that the Republican party attempted to draft him into the 2000 presidential election. A few years later, he publicly stamped his approval upon an official lie that founded an unjust war — one that has destabilized the world, broken the US military, and toxified America’s global reputation.
John McCain sold the nation on the idealistic oxymoron of a straight-talking politician, and the nation bought it. He summarily pissed it all away when he falsely claimed “the fundamentals of the economy are strong” in the middle of a crisis that even Joe The Plumber sensed could bring down the entire financial system.
And let’s not forget Mark Welsh, who spent nearly 40 years cementing an image of a no-nonsense fighter pilot and combat leader with a genuine concern for his people. He ultimately laid that image on the altar of politics when he exclaimed, to the chortle of all, that Air Force morale was “pretty darn good.” It was, of course, roughly the opposite.
Now we see two more casualties of this filthy and timeless gambit. H.R. McMaster, a man who made his name with a book about the unforgivable lies of senior public servants during Vietnam, recently flipped his reputational dime into the media fountain by trying, in vain, to tap dance and rationalize Donald Trump’s patently wrong and potentiall unlawful disclosure of classified information to his visiting Russian cronies.
But the greatest disappointment is reserved for James Mattis, the firebrand Marine we were counting on to sanitize the Department of Defense while keeping Herr Trump on the paved surface. Here’s what Mattis had to say about Trump’s potential violation of the Espionage Act:
This speaks for itself by saying nothing, which is a wholesale departure from what we’ve come to expect from Mattis.
If these two guys are selling out this easy with stakes this high, we’re screwed. This means there are no more heroes rebelling from within bureaucracy. It has finally smothered the last embers of independence in government, with the rest of society soon to follow.