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CHUCK DEVORE: Democrats Prattle On About The Need To ‘Defend Democracy.’ But What Does That Mean?

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Chuck DeVore Chuck DeVore is Chief National Initiatives officer at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He served in the California State Assembly and is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Retired Reserve. He’s the author of “Crisis of the House Never United.”
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President Joe Biden and the Democrats talk a lot these days about the need to “defend democracy.” But what does that mean?

A president is the sole U.S. elected official chosen by all the people. But in recent decades, a large unelected bureaucracy wielding great power sees the people’s government as its exclusive domain. As a result, our representative democracy has become a “heads, you win, tails, I lose” proposition where the left always wins because it is always in power.

Project Sovereignty 2025 is a citizens’ response to the understanding that the federal bureaucracy has become a “deep state,” operating independently of the democratic process. This initiative seeks to ensure that bureaucrats do not usurp power for themselves or sabotage the efforts of elected officials to implement the policies they were elected to pursue. (RELATED: STEPHEN MOORE: The Case For Draining The Swamp Is Stronger Than Ever)

Do we really have a “democracy” when the permanent government — the administrative state — views elected officials and their duly appointed staff as a threat to their domain? When it undermines the will of the people? When it blocks, leaks and works to frustrate a president’s actions?

With that in mind, consider what has become a controversial effort by Tom Jones’ American Accountability Foundation (AAF). The AAF, with support from the Heritage Foundation, has launched Project Sovereignty 2025.

This initiative aims to scrutinize senior civil servants, especially those within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to identify individuals who might obstruct a future president’s efforts to secure the border. The goal is to ensure that bureaucrats, who wield significant power, do not undermine the mandate given by the American voters to their elected leaders.

This all seems rather pedestrian, but it has drawn the ire of the permanent Washington establishment — the Swamp — who fear that exposing powerful bureaucrats might expose them to threats of violence. Of course, elected representatives are similarly exposed, leaving one to wonder if concern for unelected and powerful bureaucrats is more about who gets to shape policy and governance.

The Biden administration has emphasized the defense of democracy as a core principle. However, true democracy involves more than just holding elections; it requires that the elected representatives can implement the will of the people without undue interference from unelected officials. There is a growing concern that some senior bureaucrats, insulated from public accountability, are thwarting the policies of elected officials, thereby subverting the democratic process.

Concerns raised by the D.C. establishment that naming these officials is an incitement to violence is troubling. It suggests that powerful policymakers should remain beyond scrutiny, shielded from public accountability. This is a fundamentally un-American notion. Transparency and accountability are pillars of democracy, and those who shape public policy should not be exempt from public oversight.

The AAF’s initiative is not targeting lower-level civil servants but senior officials, including GS-14GS-15 and Senior Executive Service members. These individuals hold considerable power, often greater than that of many members of Congress. They are responsible for implementing policies that affect millions of Americans, yet they often operate in the shadows, far from the eyes of the public. By bringing their actions to light, AAF aims to restore a government that truly serves the people.

The urgency of this issue is underscored by recent tragic events, including the murders and rapes of Americans by illegal aliens. These incidents highlight the consequences of inadequate border security policies, which some DHS officials are accused of perpetuating. By identifying and holding accountable those responsible for these policies, AAF aims to protect American citizens and restore effective governance. (RELATED: DAVID BLACKMON: Supreme Court Delivers Crushing Haymaker To The Permanent Bureaucracy)

As AAF President Jones stated: “The scourge of woke open-borders-loving bureaucrats obstructing border security and facilitating the invasion of our country is something that needs to be brought to the attention of the American people.”

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision ending 40 years of Chevron deference to bureaucratic rule via an expansive interpretation of federal statute has trimmed some of the power of the regulatory state, but it still has plenty.

The defense of our representative democracy requires more than just protecting elections. It necessitates ensuring that those elected can govern effectively.

Exposing and holding accountable powerful bureaucrats who undermine the policies of elected officials is essential to restoring a government that serves the people.

Chuck DeVore is Chief National Initiatives officer at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He served in the California State Assembly and is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. He’s the author of “Crisis of the House Never United.”

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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