Make no mistake — the Deep State in America is very real and very disturbing. What’s equally troubling is that many who know the Deep State exists over-dramatize their descriptions of it, and that overkill often leads skeptics to conclude that the Deep State doesn’t exist at all. To be clear, I don’t believe the Deep State is a cabal of dastardly villains twirling their handlebar mustaches as they plot diabolical schemes to take over the world. I don’t think they meet in secret mansions on Atlantic islands and strategize about establishing a “new world order.” But Deep Staters do exist, and they’re a big problem. The Deep State is a bunch of career hacks who’ve infested the insufferably bloated executive branch and know how to keep presidents at bay. Too many Americans have limited themselves to the binary choice that presidents are either powerless puppets who take orders from the aforementioned secret cabal, or they’re fully in charge of running the country. But there is a third, often overlooked possibility: that presidents (along with Congress) really are in charge of things on paper, but the Deep State is so complex, deeply rooted and far-reaching that it calls the shots in ways that the rest of us — including the president, quite often — don’t even realize and are almost helpless to control. Imagine that a college hires a new president for a three-year term. The college is full of career employees — staffers and faculty members — who have been there for over 10 years, most of whom plan to work another 20. The professors are tenured and the administrative and maintenance staffs are unionized, so they’re not going anywhere. The president (much like the president of the United States) reports to the board of directors (as the U.S. president reports to the American people), but otherwise is in charge — or so it seems — of everyone else at the college (analogously, government agencies). [firefly_poll] When the new president decides that he is going to establish weekend classes, which means some faculty and staff will have to give up their Saturdays and Sundays to go to work, no one challenges him on it directly. But the department chairs, who want to keep their faculty members happy (and don’t want to have to work on the weekends either), talk to the individual board members to convince them what a bad idea it is. Some professors and longtime employees speak with board members too. Consequently, the board, which ultimately makes the decisions even though it is less familiar with the day-to-day operations of the college, meets and reverses the president’s proposal for weekend classes. This all happened behind the president’s back, and there was nothing evil about it. It wasn’t as if the college employees wanted to do something illegal, or wanted to harm the students or the reputation of the college in any way. It was a simple matter of wanting to sleep in on the weekends. Also, consider that the president was no one’s puppet. He wasn’t ordered to deliver a speech condemning weekend classes. He really wanted them and no employee dared reject him to his face. But the employees got their way because they comprise that college’s “deep state.” Next, let’s suppose the president does realize that his plan was sabotaged by faculty and staff. His first reaction is to fire them all. Never mind their tenure and union protections and the potential lawsuits such a drastic move may generate — if the president fires them, who’s going to do all the work? An institution of higher learning can’t simply fire everyone on a Friday afternoon and have replacements ready for Monday morning classes. And if that won’t work at a college, how can it work for an entire country? The president of the United States is the head of the executive branch of the federal government. He’s their boss, but most of them were there long before him and will be there once he’s out of office. In Joe Biden’s case, if it seems like he’s controlling the Deep State to keep Donald Trump bombarded with investigation after investigation even as it covers up Biden’s own wrongdoings, don’t be fooled. It’s not that Biden controls the Deep State; it’s that the current bunch of Deep Staters know they’re better off with Biden in office. If Trump — who, believe it or not, was too gentle on this issue while he was president — gets back into office, he’ll dismantle so many agencies with a sledgehammer. The good news is that more and more Americans are becoming aware of the Deep State, though explanations of it as an anti-American monster sacrifice credibility and turn off objective observers willing to listen to reason. Just like those college employees, the Deep Staters for the most part don’t hate America, are not working with enemy nations, do not want “one world order” of totalitarian Marxism, and haven’t committed heinous crimes that they’re now trying to cover up. They are shirking their professional obligations, though. They work for the president — whoever that may be — and yet they undermine his authority by doing whatever they feel like doing within the parameters of their vast bureaucratic labyrinth. That’s very troubling, because the American people elect the president (albeit indirectly, through electors); they don’t elect federal bureaucrats, and so the latter don’t have the right or the authority to go against the president’s wishes. And that’s what Americans need to understand is what makes the Deep State very real and very disturbing. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.