A lot of people have been critical of Trump’s alleged gaucheness in his visit to the CIA, where he did praise the field agents and analysts, although also praised himself and did not act typical. Nonetheless, it’s clear that there is at least a faction in the CIA hostile to him. And the reasons are obvious. He is neither deferential nor overawed by the permanent Deep State, is suspicious of the intelligence community’s affinity for terrorists in Syria as a means of undoing the Assad regime, and he wants friendlier relations with Russia, against whom the CIA and the permanent national security bureaucracy is hostile out of Cold War habit.
It’s also said he is showing a lack of understanding of those he must woo and impress to do his job. This is the permanent claim of insiders. That expertise is necessary to handle the Byzantine machinery of government, the numerous factions and counter-factions, and the amour propre of the permanent bureaucrats. But Trump has wooed and impressed the American people, he is empowered by them to be in charge of the CIA and the other instruments of government, and his Inaugural Address dramatically and correctly stated that the government has, until now, showed little concern for the consent of the governed. Rather, it has engaged in policies at home and abroad that are neither in the interest of the American people, nor adequately explained to them. Americans have not asked to be replaced by foreigners, nor to risk a nuclear war with a non-communist Russia, yet the Obamas and Bushes and Clintons and the establishment whom they represent have agreed on all of these things.
I’m reminded of the famous photo above: the military governor Douglas MacArthur’s first appearance with Emperor Hirohito. Notice the triumphant American’s posture and dress. He is in charge. He is the one to be respected. The old order is dead. And far from placating and working within the old pieties of Imperial Japan, it’s very clear that something new and revolutionary has taken place. The old order has been undone, along with its standards and its ruling class, and its undoing is represented symbolically by MacArthur’s casual and confident appearance along side the erstwhile god-emperor.
While I think the criticism of Trump is mostly being vented dishonestly by desperate legacy CIA interests and their media friends opposed to Trump, nonetheless, even if he were not showing them sufficient respect in their eyes, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They, like Trump himself, are all subordinate to the American people, from whom they obtain their power and their authority. And the American people, through their champion Trump, are now in charge, not the anti-American establishment. It is good that the Deep State be reminded of who is really due respect.