During the George W Bush administration it was popular in conspiracy circles to speculate that events might be orchestrated which would allow the Bush family to complete a coup against the US Constitution and hold on to power indefinitely.
Such paranoia and suspicion of government power in the wake of the extraordinary post-9/11 advancements in Orwellian surveillance programs and unprecedented military expansionism were perfectly understandable, but predictions that the younger Bush would not cede power at the end of his second term proved incorrect. In today’s hysterical Trump-centric political environment we now see mainstream voices in mainstream outlets openly advancing the same conspiratorial speculations about the current administration, and those will prove incorrect as well.
What these paranoid presidential prognostications get wrong is not their extreme suspicion of government, but their assumption that America’s real power structures require a certain president to be in place in order to advance depraved totalitarian agendas. As anyone paying attention knows, intense suspicion of the US government is the only sane position that anyone can possibly have; the error is in assuming that there is no mechanism in place to ensure that the same agendas carry forward from one presidential administration to the next.
Schiff dwelling on the fact that Trump departed from the talking points prepared for him by national security officials so he could act “contrary to official US policy,” which is to “deter Russian adventurism.” Glad to know even the president is not permitted to change US policy
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 23, 2020
In a sense, the conspiracy theories about a Bush coup were actually correct: the Bush administration didn’t truly end. All of its imperialist, power-serving agendas remained in place and were expanded under the apparent oversight of the following administration. The same thing happened after the Obama administration, and the same thing–whether in 2021 or 2025–will happen after the Trump administration. The disturbing fact of the matter is that if you ignore election dates and just look at the numbers and raw data of US government behavior over the years, you can’t really tell who is president or which political party is in power at any given point in time.
The mechanism which ensures the perpetuation of the same policies from administration to administration used to be referred to by analysts as the “deep state”,