Will Trump Drain the Swamp As Promised?
by Stephen Lendman
Promises are easy to make, fulfilling them another matter entirely. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Trump has lots of proving to do. I intend cutting him some slack, withholding criticism like media scoundrels and many others until he starts governing – then holding his feet to the fire if he fails to deliver, commending him for what’s praiseworthy.
That’s what fair and unbiased journalism should be all about – available through alternative media sources only, mainstream ones entirely lacking credibility.
They disgracefully denigrated Trump throughout his campaign (while one-sidedly exalting war goddess, racketeer, perjurer Hillary), likely continuing to bash him in office no matter what he does or doesn’t do.
Given America’s sordid political history, I doubt I’ll look back on his years with admiration. Yearning for real change like millions of others, I hope he’ll prove critics wrong. If so, his tenure will be historic.
I remember Jack Kennedy fondly. In June 1956, as a junior Massachusetts senator, he concluded his commencement address to my class, saying “if more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a better place in which to live…”
If they knew Shakespeare, Tennyson, Neruda, Yeats, Keats, Emerson, Thoreau, Twain, Sandburg, Pushkin, others like them and internalized their thinking, perhaps we’d have a much better world.
Instead, we have to play the hand dealt us, striving hard for beneficial change, never losing hope, never yielding to Machiavellian evil.
Trump campaigned against deep-seated corruption, dishonesty, hypocrisy and “liars,” promising he’d do better.
Beginning January 20, it’s put up or shut up time. On the stump and via Twitter, he said he’ll make government honest again, close all loopholes and “drain the swamp.” Here are some promises:
- he’ll ban all executive branch officials from lobbying government for five years after they leave office;
- he’ll “ask Congress to institute its own 5-year ban on lobbying by former members…and their staffs;”
- he’ll expand the definition of lobbying so former government officials can’t circumvent rules by calling themselves consultants, advisors or other designation concealing their lobbying intentions;
- he’ll “issue a lifetime ban against senior executive branch officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;”
- he’ll “ask Congress to pass campaign finance reform that prevents registered foreign lobbyist from raising money in American elections;
It takes a giant leap of faith to believe he’ll “end our government corruption.” Let’s see what steps he takes and judge him accordingly.
- he’ll “end economic stagnation” – helicopter money for Main Street, not Wall Street, would be a good way to start;
- he’ll “push for a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress” – no easy task; Article V of the Constitution explains:
It requires two-thirds supermajority approval by House and Senate member or a (never before used) two-thirds supermajority national convention vote – called by Congress at the request of at least 34 state legislatures.
If one of the above two options is achieved, a three-fourths supermajority of state legislatures or state ratifying conventions is required for adoption.
The process was successfully completed 27 times before, including for the Bill of Rights, the Constitution’s first 10 amendments – so a 28th amendment is possible, but only after a lengthy, arduous process.
Trump said he’ll “enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law.”
He failed to explain over-classification abuses, maintaining secrecy on things everyone has a right to know, including serious government wrongdoing – why courageous whistleblowers exist. They should be honored, not prosecuted and imprisoned.
Incarcerated heroes like Chelsea Manning and all other political prisoners should be freed straightaway once Trump is inaugurated. Indictments of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange on phony espionage charges should be dropped.
Trump: “I am going to forbid senior officials from trading favors for cash by preventing them from collecting lavish speaking fees through their spouses when they serve.”
“I am going to ask my senior officials to sign an agreement not to accept speaking fees from corporations with a registered lobbyist for five years after leaving office, or from any entity tied to a foreign government.”
“I am going to restore honor to our government. We’ve seen the corruption of Hillary Clinton, the mass email deletions, the pay-for-play at the State Department, the profiteering, the favors given to foreign corporations and governments at your expense.”
“We’ve seen a former Secretary of State lie to Congress about her illegal email scheme, risk innocent American lives, and bring dishonor onto our government.”
Will he hold her accountable or go back on his word to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her wrongdoing? He told CBS’ 60 Minutes he’s “going to think about it,” adding he wants to focus on jobs, healthcare, border control and immigration – then saying:
“I don’t want to hurt them (meaning Bill and Hillary). They’re good people,” suggesting accountability won’t be forthcoming on his watch.
Trump: “I know the system better than anybody else and I’m the only one up here that’s going to be able to fix that system because that system is wrong.”
“Our campaign is about breaking-up the special interest monopoly in Washington, DC. We’re trying to disrupt the collusion between the wealthy donors, the large corporations, and the media executives.”
“They’re all part of the same rigged political establishment. They go to the same restaurants, they attend the same conferences, they have the same friends and connections. And they are all in for a big day of reckoning on November 8th.”
“The Big Banks and Wall Street donors who want nothing to change are throwing millions and millions at my opponent. These are the same people who paid Bill and Hillary Clinton $150 million for speeches.”
“Hillary Clinton’s campaign is all about protecting the powerful. Our campaign is about protecting those who have no power.”
“Together, we are going to give working people a voice for the first time in a very, very long time.”
“On every issue, our campaign is about making life better for working people. But we can’t accomplish that goal unless we break-up the special interest monopoly and give power back to the citizens.”
“(G)lobalization wiped out our middle class. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can turn it all around – and we can turn it around fast.”
“If I am elected President, I will end the special interest monopoly in Washington, DC.”
Bold pledges! Will he deliver? What about ending America’s permanent war agenda, its imperial ambitions for unchallenged world dominance, wanting US-controlled puppet regimes replacing sovereign independent ones?
Will he normalize relations with Russia, ending illegal sanctions and the threat of possible nuclear war? Will he “make America great again” for all its people, not just its privileged few like it’s always been from inception?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.