Draining the Swamp Ain’t Easy

Right From the Start

In an area just southwest of Tucson, Arizona, the University of Arizona maintains Biosphere 2.  It is an attempt by man to create a self-sustaining closed ecosystem.  While not perfect, it has largely succeeded with little adjustments necessary to maintain its closed system.  In addition to its ongoing scientific experiments, it has become a significant tourist attraction for the curious.  On the surface it is quiet, peaceful and virtually movement free.  But beneath the surface it is a swarm of activity that but for the glass walls would go unnoticed.  Like an ant farm, the windows permit the observers to witness these activities while leaving the flora and fauna undisturbed and unaware.  The ability to observe these activities is what differentiates it from swamps.

A swamp is also a self-sustaining ecosystem but its activities are largely hidden from view.  The black brackish water hides the activities of its inhabitants from public view.  It is dominated by reptiles – crocodiles, alligators, snakes (poisonous and constrictor alike), and lizards of various types, fish (including some that are voracious like piranhas, fresh water sharks, skates and stingrays) and a variety of rodents.  The daily routine of predator and prey occurs without a surface ripple.  The casual observer finds it calm and serene.  However, the intruder quickly learns its real and deadly character.  Between the predators and the scavengers the intruder is killed, devoured and its bones picked clean.  Virtually no trace is left.

But when an intruder threatens the very existence of the swamp, the inhabitants react irrationally.  They are exposed.  The detritus of their existence, the rot and remains of their hidden lives and the savagery of what lies beneath are exposed.  There is no coordinated plan by the inhabitants to resist; rather there is mutual recognition that their existence is threatened and they must react.  Some fight, some flee, some devour others.  And as the swamp recedes their actions become more violent, more evident and more destructive.

If you recognize any of this from the news over the last four months, it means you have been paying attention.  There is no part of the federal government that has not been corrupted over the last two and one-half decades in whole or in part and as a result there is no part of the government that is not threatened by the voter revolt that installed President Donald J. Trump.

There is no branch of government that is not free of that corruption – not the executive branch, not the Congress, not the judiciary and most certainly not the vast bureaucracy.  In large part it is the practice of appointment and hiring by past Democrat administrations (Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama) and the failure of Republican administrations to purge the corruption.  The federal government now exists to perpetuate itself rather than to serve its people.  Its participants knowingly lie, cheat, and steal with assured impunity by other participants, Democrats and Republicans alike.  (Just as a reminder, James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) knowingly and deliberately lied to Congress in response to questions from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) regarding whether the NSA collected any data on United States citizens.  Everybody knows he lied and yet no one objected – not even Mr. Wyden – and he continued in his role as DNI under Mr. Obama.)

Yes, there are honorable people who go to Washington with good intentions but in short order they are either corrupted or isolated – their participation so marginalized that they cannot operate effectively to change the course of corruption.  Short of a president, no one participant possesses the power or standing to affect reform.

Enter Mr. Trump.  He most assuredly is not the person I would have chosen to be the President who actually sought reform*.  I would have preferred someone like Carly Fiorina – strong, articulate, and pleasant, an iron fist in a velvet glove.  Someone who carves with a scalpel instead of brutalizing with a sledgehammer.  But it just may be that someone used to the rough and tumble, someone unafraid to call out the misdeeds, someone willing to match cunning with brutality, that is necessary to confront the guardians of the swamp.  Someone willing to match outrageous, unsubstantiated accusations with equally outrageous, unsubstantiated accusation to show the hypocrisy of the accusers and mainstream media.

This is not a Republican cause – they are universally guilty of allowing the corruption to occur.  This is a “movement cause” – a desire to make the government once again accountable.  To make government an instrument for serving the people, not ruling them.
And the more Mr. Trump succeeds in demonstrating the hypocrisy of the press and the politicians, of exposing the common practice of using the bureaucracy to silence critics, and of enriching themselves at the expense of the taxpayers, the more outrageous and dangerous the acts of the status quo supporters will become.  This is not a time for the weak-at-heart.  This is a time to be even more resolute.

Despite my misgivings about the personality of Mr. Trump I wish him success and I am hopeful that he succeeds in each and every endeavor upon which he has embarked in fulfillment of his campaign promises.  We will all be better off if he erases the failed policies and corruption that Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama each brought to the office of the President.

*Let’s remember that the choice for president realistically is between the Democrat or the Republican and in this case the Democrats decided to put up the single most corrupt person available.