By: Taylor Sellers
In the political jungle of Washington D.C., The Drake in DC group has been navigating the city and arrived upon the infamous swamp.
Donald Trump’s outcry to “Drain The Swamp” of long-time government officials and influencers has been an undertone during his campaign and thank you tour. Today we met with some of “The Swamp”: two State Department workers. They didn’t seem monstrous at all.
For those who are a little confused about the swamp, Ruy Teixeira and John Hudak gave a wonderful breakdown of just what that swamp does. Ruy Teixeira, senior fellow at The Century Foundation and American Progress, and John Hudak, Deputy Director for the Center of Effective Public Management, spoke to the group and answered questions about the stats and projections of the Trump presidency.
Draining the swamp is supposed to be about getting rid of career politicians and diminishing the size and power of the federal government.
But is that what the United States wants?
The nation did not fight against the political status quo. According to Ruy Teixeira, around 90% of congress members who sought re-election were successful.The swamp isn’t such a terrible place, and draining it can ruin the political ecosystem. John Hudak claims that with Trump’s lack of political experience, he will likely not have incredibly nuanced knowledge of how congress works in order to create actual change. Trump needs people who have been in the system for a long period of time who can help him navigate. Otherwise, little can be expected in term of substantive change to rules that distribute power.
The American people have an issue. Frustrations with this swamp are considerably hypocritical. Iowa is a perfect example of a state that consistently votes for the same person (ask Chuck Grassley), but will have citizens admonish the government for being career politicians. 90% of the time, this was the case elsewhere as well.
There are two possible explanations: Either (A) people are not engaged enough in the system to do their homework on candidates and just vote for who they know, or (B) these politicians are trusted and respected by those who vote them in.
While I believe that both are sometimes true, scenario B tends to be my impression, especially in Iowa, of what is happening more often. It may be the case that each state feels the same about the individuals that they vote for. What is missing, then, is trust in others to choose the best person for the job.
Americans cannot belittle others of an action that they do as well. Americans helped create the swamp, and gave politicians political power that they often choose to use long after their term to influence the government.
The swamp isn’t always out to get us, either. The State Department does vital work (although many probably don’t know what). Every day, “The Swamp” runs programs that make the country run. Donald Trump needs to rely on the same if he has any hopes of coming to terms that as president he has relatively little power without a navigable route to working with and activating congress. The American people need to decide if they will trust the people given their influence, or if they will be voters that actually vote for the change that they chant for.