What was left behind after Trump ‘Drained the DC Swamp’ in 2017?

Reinfesting the White House with a mixture of far right-wing political extremists, white supremacists, corporate lobbyists and Christian theocrats

Gary G. Kohls, MD

“What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time and one state at a time. I honestly believe that in my lifetime, we will see a country once again governed by Christians ... and Christian values. … I want to be invisible. I do guerilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag. You don’t know until election night.” –– Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition executive director during the 1990s

“Our Glorious Leader (Trump) has ascended to God Emperor. Make no mistake about it: we did this. If it were not for us, it wouldn’t have been possible. ... The White race is back in the game. And if we’re playing, no one can beat us. The winning is not going to stop.” –– A revealing quote from the Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist website Daily Stormer, which claims to be the “No. 1 Alt-Right” website, following Donald Trump’s election in 2016. (Stormfront’s motto is: “White Pride Worldwide.”)

KKK ex-Grand Wizard David Duke couldn’t help but celebrate the part that his White Supremacist movement had in electing Trump.” Duke proclaimed the day after the election: “Make no mistake about it, our people played a HUGE role in electing Trump! ... You arrogant, unthankful, degenerate pieces of shit no longer have absolute power.”

And the flag above makes clear one of the reasons that southern white supremacists and southern states rights’ advocates have had so much power since the South’s humiliating defeat 150 years ago in the War Between the States. The hard core among them doesn’t think the “godly” cause of white Christian supremacy over non-whites and non-Christians was actually lost back then. Trump has given hope to them. And theocracy-minded Christian Fundamentalists seem to have developed a cozy relationship with the KKK, White Supremacist groups and neo-fascist groups within the Trump-supporting camp.

During the 2016 campaign for president, Hillary Clinton unwisely made the now-infamous statement saying that half of Donald Trump’s supporters were what she libelously characterized as “a basket of deplorables.”

She was speaking at the “LGBT for Hillary” gala in New York City two months before election day. In the speech, Clinton went on to explain the phrase by saying that many of Trump’s supporters were “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic.”

Hillary could have legitimately expanded on her argument by adding to her list of anti-democracy hate groups some of the following groups of ardent Trump supporters like the Ku Klux Klan; far right-wing activists like David Duke; White Supremacists; neo-fascist groups like the Proud Boys; pro-Trump hate groups that wanted to “Make America White Again”; and the hundreds of well-armed neo-fascist paramilitary vigilantes across America. (As listed in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s archives at splcenter.org/issues/hate-and-extremism)

Included in the list above could have been included some of the following elite, wealthy, white collar Wall Street and War Street predatory capitalist and investor groups who thrive – no matter who in in the “Swamp.” This elite group feeds at the “Corporate Welfare Trough” and are responsible for 1] the endlessly wasteful military spending, 2] the immoral desire to expand the American Empire, 3] the attempts to privatize Social Security, the postal service and health care and 4] keeping the for-profit prison system privatized and profitable for investors.

There are many antidemocratic American groups that have emerged, since the Trump era began, and they are perennial Washington insider “swamp-dwellers” and non-Washington outsider “swamp-dwellers” who have become energized Trump sycophants because of his vote-getting “promises”, most of which were not kept.

Giving the middle finger to the establishment

However, most Trump voters aren’t crypto-fascists or even racists. They voted for him because they wanted to give the middle finger to the establishments of both major political parties, neither of which had been very responsive to their needs for generations.

Many Trump voters, even if they couldn’t articulate it, also wanted to say “f---you” to the hundreds of predatory corporations that have kept all middle and lower class voters in perennial consumer debt, credit card debt, college student loan debt, mortgage debt, and healthcare debt – not to mention dependent on the multitude of addictive consumer products (including their medications and time-consuming entertainment) that they can’t stop purchasing or swallowing. The list of legal addictive psychiatric drugs, illegal addictive street drugs, nicotine, caffeine, spectator sports, video gaming, entertainment and pornography all come to mind.

Why so many Bernie supporters didn’t vote for Hillary

Prior to having the Democratic Party nomination for President stolen from him twice, Bernie Sanders energized a substantial number of the lower 90% of middle class, minority and oppressed populations (both white and non-white, some of whom naturally also wanted to give the finger to the Democratic Party establishment that had repeatedly ignored them for  all those years). Bernie particularly resonated with young people because he was exposing a lot of the establishment’s corruption that those voters had suspected but had not heard articulated so powerfully.

So when Bernie was cheated by the Democratic National Committee for the first time in 2016 many of those young voters naturally became disillusioned and some of them didn’t vote at all or even voted for Trump, symbolically saying “F… You” to both of America’s Two parties, both of which are corporate-controlled and enablers of the bankrupting military-industrial complex And so the enthusiasm that Bernie had generated for the Democratic Party went to waste.

I take no pride in saying “I told you so” to the misbegotten Hillary campaign insiders who dissed and cheated Bernie and his supporters (and offered no apologies), but I agree with many political pundits that Bernie would have beaten Trump in either 2016 or 2020.

I attach below portions of my (prophetic?) June 14, 2016 Duty to Warn column that was published soon after Hillary became the Democratic Party nominee. The column was titled: “Why Many Bernie Supporters Will Soon be Abandoning the Democratic Party”, and the pertinent subtitle was “Why Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Organizers and her Democratic Party Super-Delegates Will Some Day Regret Sabotaging Sanders’ Candidacy”.

 “The 2016 Democratic primaries have been frustrating for many progressives who have had their political juices awakened and energized by the nonviolent political revolution of Bernie Sanders, his New Deal/Fair Deal politics, his democratic socialist candidacy and his support for oppressed and discriminated-against minorities (including Latinos, African-Americans, Native Americans, Palestinians, Muslims and the LGBT community, among others).

 “But the Democratic Party, once the mortal enemy of fascism, corporate monopolies, governmental rule by wealthy elites and fraudulent elections, has sabotaged, through any number of back room deals (and with the willing help of the corporate-controlled media), Sanders’ highly respected, altruistic candidacy. The center-right Democratic national leadership has unfairly denied him the well-deserved nomination. Because of the intransigence of their pro-Wall Street, pro-War Street, wealthy insiders in the party hierarchy, they will soon regret what they have done as much as the GOP may eventually regret the choice of the xenophobic, sociopathic, paranoid, narcissistic megalomaniacal Donald Trump as their party’s leader.

“Both political parties have had their agendas shaped by billionaire corporate and militaristic plutocrats and Wall Street tycoons who have purchased large numbers of mercenary lobbyists, lawyers and federal and Supreme Court judges and also the loyalties of the vast majorities of elected legislators (both at the state and national levels) via massive amounts of campaign cash.  The classic truism of “whoever pays the piper, calls the tune” still holds in 2016.

“It is truly rare to find altruistic politicians in America who are capable of igniting the imaginations and hopes of millions of folks, especially minorities and the younger generations, who have been “feeling the Bern.”

“The Wall Street/War Street NeoCons (now tragically in total control of the GOP and in positions of power in the Democratic Party) have been somehow allowing a small minority of idealistic politicians to exist in America, I suppose partly for window-dressing. As Rush Limbaugh once proclaimed (after the GOP started feeling its oats in DC in the mid-90s): “I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus—living fossils—so we will never forget what these people stood for.”

 “But there have been other American idealists throughout history that have also felt something resembling ‘the Bern’. Such people-power movements have happened only a handful of times over the past American century. Each movement’s progressive leadership has been ‘disappeared’, snuffed out or ‘suicided’, either by intimidation, assassination, smear campaigns or some other political intrigue such as imprisonment (as in the case of democratic socialist and labor union leader Eugene Debs, who – in 1918 - was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for his antiwar activism [where he continued his run for president on the American Socialist Party ticket, garnering nearly a million votes]).

 “History tells us about the brief appearances of past progressive movements that promised to benefit the ‘common man’, like ‘Fighting Bob’ LaFollete’s Progressive Party era, Eugene Debs’s persecuted Socialist Party, FDR’s New Deal era, the antiwar, liberal efforts of JFK, RFK and MLK, Eugene McCarthy, Paul Wellstone’s people’s campaign, Ralph Nader’s Green Party candidacy, Occupy Wall Street’s efforts, the disappearing democratic wing of the Democratic Party and, most importantly, all those millions of eager progressive-minded college-age Bernie supporters who so clearly see the dire need for a true political revolution.”

Draining the swamp, but protecting many of the far right-wing swamp-dwellers

One of Donald Trump’s sure-fire applause lines in 2016 – besides pledging to “make America great again”, pledging to put Hillary Clinton behind bars, and forcing Mexico to pay for his multi-billion dollar border wall - was his pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington. Un-appreciated by most of his true believers, Trump’s transition team and appointees were heavily populated with swamp creatures who were already mired in Washington.  

Trump’s supporters, cabinet members, White House staff and other assorted partners in crime included white collar corporate bigwigs from both Wall Street’s Big Banks, billionaire CEOs from Big Pharma and War Street’s Big Weapons industries.
These elite swamp creatures were behind-the-scenes multimillionaires/billionaire campaign contributors (all of whom expected – and received - handsome returns on their “investments”). The very same investment “experts” also funded right-wing think tanks, anti-environmental activist groups, climate change deniers, oil, war and drug industry lobbyists, former federal bureaucrats, the Federalist Society, pro-industry academics, corporate lawyers, internet trolls, and assorted special-interest lobbyists.