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There’s something about the term “deep state” that sounds paranoid, even nutty. As of just a few years ago, you mostly heard the phrase from relics on the far-left, the kind of people who lecture you about the United Fruit Company and the toppling of Mosaddegh. The term, then and now, suggests that our democracy is fake. Elections and domestic politics are a sideshow. No matter who you vote for, in the end, the same people still run everything. That’s a pretty dark understanding of the American system. If you’re a normal person who grew up here, it’s the last thing you want to believe about your country. It seems crazy. And then you read stories like this one:
According to reporting this summer, in the days after last November’s election, Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held a meeting with senior military officials at the Pentagon. Milley wanted to inform them of what he described as a serious threat to national security — a threat so grave it imperiled “the stability of the Republic.” That threat, Milley said, was the sitting president of the United States. Donald Trump