- The Washington Times - Monday, March 19, 2018

There’s been talk of a “deep state” or “shadow government” at work against the administration since President Trump was elected, echoed in breathless news reports and mysterious op-eds. The “Deep State” lives, however. It is a real phenomenon to Americans, according to a new Monmouth University poll.

“The term Deep State refers to possible existence of a group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy,” the survey noted — revealing some startling results.

The poll found that 74 percent of respondents said the deep state “definitely” or “probably” exists, a sentiment that was almost identical through multiple demographics, including political and ideological persuasions, among men and women, and even among age and income groups. It’s deeper than we think.

“We usually expect opinions on the operation of government to shift depending on which party is in charge. But there’s an ominous feeling by Democrats and Republicans alike that a ‘deep state’ of unelected operatives are pulling the levers of power,” says Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Find the numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end — along with insight on public concerns about “the U.S. government monitoring their activities or invading their privacy,” among other things.



“Fully 8-in-10 believe that the U.S. government currently monitors or spies on the activities of American citizens, including a majority (53 percent) who say this activity is widespread and another 29 percent who say such monitoring happens but is not widespread,” says Mr. Murray. “This is a worrisome finding. The strength of our government relies on public faith in protecting our freedoms, which is not particularly robust. And it’s not a Democratic or Republican issue. These concerns span the political spectrum.”

SCHOOL GUN VIOLENCE NOT ‘A GROWING EPIDEMIC’

“The Parkland shooting last month has energized student activists, who are angry and frustrated over gun violence. But it’s also contributed to the impression that school shootings are a growing epidemic in America. In truth, they’re not,” writes Martin Kaste, who covers law enforcement for National Public Radio.

He cited James Alan Fox, a Northeastern University professor of criminology, who says that schools are safer today than they in previous decades according to statistics.

“The results should come as a relief to parents. First, while multiple-victim shootings in general are on the rise, that’s not the case in schools. There’s an average of about one a year — in a country with more than 100,000 schools,” Mr. Kaste says.

The research said there more such incidents in the 1990s, particularly citing the 1997-98 school year when there were four multiple-victim shootings on campuses. In the 1992-93 school year, about 0.55 students per million were shot and killed; in 2014-15, that rate was closer to 0.15 per million.

“The difference is the impression, the perception that people have. Today we have cellphone recordings of gunfire that play over and over and over again. So it’s that the impression is very different. That’s why people think things are a lot worse now, but the statistics say otherwise,” Mr. Fox told NPR in an interview.

MR. TRUMP HAS A QUESTION

Once again, President Trump is bypassing media and pollsters and launching his own voter inquiry, via his 2020 reelection campaign committee.

“The president wants the 2020 United States Census to ask people whether or not they are citizens. In another era, this would be common sense — but 19 attorneys general said they will fight the president if he dares to ask people if they are citizens. The president wants to know if you’re on his side,” the online query asks.

The answer choices: “Absolutely! Is that even a question?” and “No.”

ANTHONY HAS A SAY

Former White House communications adviser Anthony Scaramucci has written a book titled “The Blue Collar President: How Trump Is Reinventing the Aspirational Working Class,” to be published in September by Center Street, the conservative imprint of the Hachette Book Group, also home to such media-savvy authors as Gretchen Carlson, Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie and Michael Savage.

In an age when the academic world is a liberal one, Mr. Scaramucci wants his new offering to serve as a college textbook.

“If this book is successful, a political scientist will pick it up and add it to his course syllabus, and a business school professor will do the same,” Mr. Scaramucci recently told the Hollywood Reporter.

He’s got a start, perhaps. Mr. Scaramucci will appear at New York University early next month, a guest of the NYU College Republicans, an event which took weeks of negotiations between student planners and university administrators. The author will address “forgiveness and common mistakes in business and politics,” according to NYULocal, a student blog.

RICH, RICHER, RICHEST

In case you wondered, Bloomberg News has assembled a list of the top 100 “richest places” in the U.S., based on pertinent U.S. Census data. Curious?

In first place is Atherton, California, where the average household income is $443,403 a year. Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, is in second place — followed by Scarsdale, New York; Los Altos Hills, California; Short Hills, New Jersey; Hillsborough, California; Old Greenwich, Connecticut; Bronxville, New York; Highland Park, Texas; and Darien, Connecticut.

POLL DU JOUR

74 percent of Americans believe a “deep state” exists that secretly manipulates or directs national policy; 72 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of independents and 72 percent of Democrats agree.

60 percent overall say that unelected or appointed officials in the federal government have too much influence on policy; 59 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents and 59 percent of Democrats agree.

53 percent overall worry that the U.S. government is monitoring their activities; 51 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 50 percent of Democrats agree.

53 percent overall say this practice is “widespread”; 51 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats agree.

29 percent say the practice happens but is not “widespread”; 28 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

26 percent say the practice is “rarely justified”; 20 percent of Republicans, 29 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Monmouth University Poll of 803 U.S. adults conducted March 2-5 and released Monday.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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