Reminder: Draining The Swamp Doesn’t Mean What You Think

 By Lynda Lamp
Why Puerto Rico Is Suffering

During the 2016 Presidential campaign, we heard a lot about “draining the swamp.” As you probably recall, it is a term Candidate Trump spoke often.

Recently I heard a reporter reference “draining the swamp” about Tom Price’s resignation. The head of the Health and Human Services Director is in hot water for spending over a million dollars in travel since his appointment in May. Price’s resignation herald’s the departure of a person who has abused the system. Someone who has treated tax-payer dollars disrespectfully and in a self-serving manner.

Unfortunately, Trump’s usage of the term “swamp” doesn’t refer to government corruption and abuse.

The Truth Behind The Term

Traditionally draining the swamp reveals what’s at the bottom. At the bottom of a swamp, you might find crocodiles or mud. Generally whatever you discover is apt to be unpleasant.

Washington D.C.’s unpleasantness appears to many of us as a cesspool of corruption.  We want to get rid of tax-payer dollar abuse and government corruption. I think the majority of us want to see lobbyists and the money influencing our government shut down. So Price’s resignation might seem like a draining of the swamp.

The problem is we are not in agreement as to who or what constitutes “the swamp.” To most of us draining the swamp refers to stopping corruption. To drain the swamp would be to get rid of the problems. So, the occupants in many versions of the swamp are self-serving and dishonest politicians. Our government is bogged down with red tape and twisted rules; draining the swamp would ultimately clean things up and bring truth and transparency to governance. It’s logical that we might think that Price is a part of the “swamp” to which Trump refers, but he’s not.

It’s logical that we might think that Price is a part of the “swamp” to which Trump refers, but he’s not.

Trump’s Swamp is a Swamp of A Different Color

If you listen carefully to Mr. Trump, what he said is that he intended to address the dishonesty in Washington, but first, he would “drain the swamp.”

According to the article in Slate:

In a press release from Oct. 17, [2016] Trump pledged to “drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.” He then tweeted: “I will Make Our Government Honest Again — believe me. But first, I’m going to have to #DrainTheSwamp.”

Almost a year later, after studying Mr. Trump’s response to tragedy after tragedy, disaster after disaster it has become evident what the swamp means is to him.

To Trump, the “swamp” is anyone who needs help or gets help from the government. So that’s the people of Puerto Rico, the people in Houston and Florida, everyone on any kind of social service.  It’s the poor and the needy, the young and the helpless.

The Needy Will Go On Needing

If you are in America and need government assistance, or receive any government funds (including Social Security) as far as the current President is concerned, you are the swamp. If you are of any color other than white and you are not rich, you are also part of the swamp.

Remember, he’s promised to make government honest, but first, he’s going to kick everyone off government services. That’s what he means when he says “drain the swamp.” This from the same man that said: “Women, you have to treat them like shit.” The man works every day to dismantle and destroy the structures that are holding America and Americans together and whose staff is spending our taxpayer money hand over fist. Trump himself has bankrupted the Secret Service.

God help Puerto Rico and other parts of America ravished by natural disasters.

Our deepest sympathy with the female Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico who Trump attacked mercilessly on Twitter.

We have an Administration with an agenda unlike what we have ever seen before. It is incumbent upon ourselves to set this ship right.

I feel compelled to point this out. In Trump’s mind, if he is never able to “finish” draining the swamp, then he never has to get to making government honest. He knew that when he said it. Here’s that tweet again: “I will Make Our Government Honest Again — believe me. But first, I’m going to have to #DrainTheSwamp.”

It’s Up To Us To Fix This

So, remember to breathe. Self-care is critical if we are going set things straight in this country.  Get out and vote in every election possible. Consider running for some seat or office yourself. And in the meantime call, fax, email, text and, or, visit your legislators. Make sure they know your thoughts. We’re going to get through this, but one of the first things we need to do is make sure we understand the terms we’re using.

I will continue to work every day to drain the swamp that has become our Administration. I hope you will join me.

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