Let's Show Donald Who Can Really Drain the Swamp

By Brandon Epstein (Massachusetts Institute of Technology Undergraduate)

I feared Trump might win ever since the conclusion of the conventions. In the days before the polls I was not sure who would win, even though I thought in the days leading up that the election leaned toward Clinton. Obviously the results turned out to be slightly off from the polls, but that discrepancy for many people has made all the difference.

On account of my economic standing and many other factors, I can say without any equivocation that I am at a relatively high position in the pecking order of society. However, most people are not. People all over the US are hurting, even without Donald in office. Their lives hang in the balance of cold, unfeeling policy. It is obvious that the government barely recognizes (if at all) that deportation, de-industrialization, and mass incarceration, for instance, hurt real human beings.

I think it is unwise to wish for Donald to be impeached because his VP, former Indiana governor, US congressman, and 2008 presidential also-ran Mike Pence is more dangerous. Trump is an opportunist; Pence is a doctrinaire reactionary who can drum up more support within government. Donald probably considered the benefit of “impeachment insurance” when he nominated Pence instead of Christie, a man who is certainly several notches less conservative on social issues and covers much of the same ground as Donald—loud, corrupt, hypocritical. In any event, a Pence presidency would be hateful, extremist, and mercilessly efficient—a nightmare, in other terms.

There are definitely negative forces within government. It stinks to high hell. It’s understandable to want to defang them—Bernie’s campaign was predicated on this exact premise. Trump’s statement that we need to “drain the swamp” to eliminate corruption in government appeals in a similar populist manner and evokes earlier ideologues on the left and right.

Of course, Trump isn’t the guy draining the swamp; he’s the malaria-ridden mosquito that is to be removed. Trump is not an honest, forthright straight-shooter, he’s a political operative with a long track record of hypocrisy and corruption. His lobbyist advisers and cabinet picks are fast showing he has no interest in governing as an outsider of any kind. Furthermore, his divisive rhetoric, evidently, has caused a rash of hate crimes in the past couple of days, and we can reasonably expect a continuing escalation.

I have been trying my best to understand what a person could think that would lead to them supporting such a slimy, awful candidate. I think it’s the key to stopping him. And boy, oh boy do we ever need to stop him. My hope is that we succeed in blunting Donald’s influence by providing a strong, coherent counterpoint throughout his reign of terror.

If we can neuter the twin forces of bigotry and corruption in government, we have nowhere to go but up. It’s not easy, but it’s a task well worth embarking on. There’s immediacy here unlike what we’ve ever seen in our lives. So let’s go. Fight. Let’s show Trump who can really drain that swamp.

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