A little over a year before Donald Trump’s election as president, I serio-comically suggested that Judas Priest’s “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” be considered a possibility for his official campaign theme song. The deep track classic refers to the act of official beheading and has a modern day connotation of getting pink-slipped with extreme prejudice.
The comedic angle presented itself because in the early going I wasn’t absolutely sure that what I was witnessing in American politics was really happening. Trump’s message was so resonant that it was hard to believe it was real.
That was then, and now he’s president. There will still be opportunities for humorous takes on what has occurred, but the Deep State subversion that threatens to delegitimize an administration and circumvent a democratically elected commander-in-chief is no laughing matter.
First, some background. When I grew up and came of age in the fifties and sixties, an individual like Pfc. Bradley Manning would have served out his 35 year sentence, or ended up swinging from the end of a rope. He would not have been approved for sexual reassignment surgery, nor granted a presidential commutation, down from 35 to seven years.
Nobody is calling for firing squads for the moles, partisan obstructionists, Clintonistas, Obama loyalists, and outright traitors working clandestinely to undermine President Trump, but it has become clear, as influential conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have compellingly argued, that it is time for our president to get busy doing what he did so well on Celebrity Apprentice.
“Drain the swamp” is the parlance of the day; more precisely, what is needed is a sweeping purge, an exhaustive regimen of investigations, interviews, terminations, and criminal charges if warranted.
The success of what I believe will be an eight-year term for our 45th president is at stake. As long as the dry rot and dissidence of the ghosts of administrations past hold onto their desks, secret collusions, and electronic weaponry, the new administration will fight an unnecessarily uphill battle against embedded foes seeking to thwart its rightful authority.
It is the prerogative of any incoming administration to clean house and fill positions with professionals who at the very least will not work against its governing vision. Ideally, such new blood should to a large extent share it. While not exactly analogous, President Ronald Reagan’s mass firing of the rogue air traffic controllers in 1980 is instructive. Past presidents have routinely replaced holdovers from predecessors with their own people.
The task facing Mr. Trump, Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions et.al will be Herculean. A pervasive stratum of reactionary Trump Derangement Syndrome exists in what is referred to as the “shadow government” or “Deep State.”
He has every right to govern without a treasonous underbelly of defeated bureaucrats seeking to throw wrenches into the machinery of his newly elected and forward-thinking administration.
Back when I was writing serio-comedy about Election 2016, this is the place where I would interject it. In this case, by referencing the scene in the film Office Space where ruthless outside consultants are brought in to investigate and make recommendations for downsizing and outsourcing at the fictional company known as Initech.
“What would you say…you do here?” one consultant, played brilliantly by John C. McGinley, asks a highly paid middle manager, whose position and title cannot be quantified, and whose future at the firm is only steps away from the chopping block.
A great moment, in a hysterically funny film.
But what’s happening now—and has been happening and gaining strength for some time now—is scary, not funny. At the highest and lowest levels of our government, an unhealthy remnant of what has been hired before is gnawing at the suspension cables that hold our country together.
As a Trump supporter and voter, I respectfully suggest that the inner sanctum security apparatus of President Trump’s White House take a hard look at the people occupying the Deep State and ask each one in turn: “What would you say…you do here?”