I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a bit, mostly on business, and one of my favourite places is Washington DC. I’ve visited the monuments – the Lincoln Memorial is, to use the word appropriately for once, awesome. It takes more insight than I can comprehend to convey what Lincoln did at Gettysburg, using only 270 words.
And the Vietnam War Memorial is pure genius; nothing but a black granite wall engraved with the names of 58,000 Vietnam vets who died in that conflict. It begins as a wedge and gradually heightens, building emotion as you walk along it. 58,000 names truly is overwhelming. But then you think of the American Civil War with more than 600,000 dead, or the 20th century with over 100 million civilian deaths, killed mostly by the Communists, or the National Socialists / NAZIS, for the greater good of an imagined utopian state. Socialism’s ultimate experiments.
But underneath the facade of the inspiring monuments and beautiful buildings, Washington DC is a swamp. (I guess because I’m an old farm boy the picture in my mind is more of a barnyard that hasn’t been cleaned out for decades. It’s a breeding ground for maggots, and a nasty mess, and whoever gets around to cleaning it is going to get nasty.)
But let’s stick with the contemporary metaphor. Donald Trump says he’s gone to Washington to “drain the swamp.” That’s good, because last November the American electorate hired him to do exactly that.
Unsurprisingly, the Swamp Critters don’t like it.
Because if you’ve followed American politics like I have, since November 1963, you’ve come to realize that the Washington swamp grows darker and murkier by the decade. Swamp Critter Elitists have increasingly taken control, and they include many – not all – Democratic and Republican politicians, lobbyists, lawyers, leeches – oh yeah, I already mentioned the lobbyists and lawyers , and the bureaucracy which is often known as the deep state.
And many bureaucrats in the deep state are convinced that politicians come to Washington to learn how things work, rather than the other way around. And by the way, the deep state bureaucracy in Ottawa is just as convinced. Their view is that if a political party doesn’t lean Progressivist Left, they have no right to the levers of power, no matter what the electorate has said.
And of course, Washington’s (and Ottawa’s) self-styled Elites also include the media, and while they aren’t officially part of government apparatus, they’re definitely Swamp Critters.
Considering that Trump Derangement Syndrome has reached pandemic levels, the administration has nevertheless made admirable headway over the last six months in reducing or eliminating dozens of job-killing regulations.
For the first time ever, there seems to be an awareness in Washington that, vis-à-vis North Korea, kicking the can down the road is no longer an option. Illegal immigration is way down; the stock market, and permanent jobs, are up.
There have indeed been too many amateur hour stumbles, and too many ill-advised Tweets (Somebody, please, Duck Tape His Thumbs!), but the simple fact is that American voters hired Trump because they were sick of professional politicians.
And put the worst spin on it that you will; the Trump crowd’s sometimes unwise, but so far, non-criminal interactions with the Russians, pale in comparison to Hillary Clinton’s clearly criminal carelessness with classified emails, destruction of evidence, perjury, and influence peddling.
Add to that the fact that if Hillary had moved into the White House, Bill would have moved in there with her. Interns beware!
I’m not a huge Donald Trump fan, but I’m a Yuge fan of what he was hired to do, and I genuinely hope for his success.
But he’ll need to smarten up, and learn to STOP FEEDING THE CRITTERS!
I’m Dave Reesor in Calgary.