Nobody Said Draining the Swamp Would Be Easy

One of the great things about electing someone like Donald Trump is that he’s not a career politician. Unfortunately, it rubs both ways. When you have someone as President – no matter how capable or smart in other contexts – who isn’t an established career politician, it’s difficult to gain control of the whole show as quickly as you’d like.

Think about what government is, by its very nature. Government is mean. It’s heartless and cruel. It’s coercive, manipulative, has almost nothing to do with objective capability and everything to do with subjective perception, pull and influence. Hillary Clinton was and is a walking caricature of government by this definition. With respect to what government has become, she was (and remains) the perfect man for the job. Yet despite her loss of the presidency, the federal establishment – Congress as well as the executive branch – is chock full of people with this mindset.

And they will not die quietly.

Granted, there are good individuals who work in government and there are diabolical ones in the private sector—particularly since the private sector is so politicized, thanks to government intervention in the economy over many decades. But in government it’s pull, manipulation and corruption that are the general trends and, for the most part, get rewarded. Good guys win in any context where reason and reality are the standards, but rest assured that reason and reality are not the standards in the ugly, self-serving parasitical behemoth that our federal government has become.

Is a moral and decent government even possible? Yes, but only if the government limits itself to the type of activities specified in our very wise Bill of Rights and Constitution. America’s founders – Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Hamilton – all understood this, and tried to warn us.

Unfortunately, few of us listened.

In theory and sometimes in practice, it’s possible to “throw the bums out” in hopes of draining the proverbial swamp. Donald Trump’s surprising victory last November represented a virtually unprecedented instance of such an occurrence, one so big that most of us have yet (on either side of the political debate) been able to fully grasp and come to terms with it.

But entrenched and power-hungry bureaucrats dominate the federal government as we know it. This no doubt includes the military and intelligence establishment as much (or even more) than other areas of the government. In his Tweets this morning, the President railed against these leakers, and with good reason. This is no Nixonian paranoia. The opposition to Trump both inside and outside the government is so blatant, so unprincipled and so mind-numbing in its desperation and hysteria that the President understates the situation, if anything.

Michael Flynn represented a voice in the national security arena many of us have longed for since at least 9/11—a voice of unwavering and principled opposition to Islamic jihad against America. If you really want America and the West to win a war perpetrated by the jihadists themselves, his appointment to national security advisor was a wonderful development. Rest assured that whatever the reasons for his being replaced, the real reasons had little to do with Russia and everything to do with opposition by an entrenched bureaucracy who wants nothing to change, including America’s ongoing pacifism and “I-promise-to-roll-over-so-go-ahead-just-shoot-me” mentality in all the years since 9/11, most dramatically under the last administration.

Of course, President Trump was entirely entitled to fire his national security advisor if he felt he could not rely on him to be honest. But the question remains: Why was Flynn placed in this position in the first place? Keep that question in mind as similar dramas play out in days and months to come. The federal establishment Donald Trump inherited is not going to die quietly and easily.

And if it’s America you love, that establishment in our government—the swamp—is not your friend.

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