In a sudden, but not completely surprising, turn of political events this week, the Trump White House may be finding out that it bit off more than it can chew, let alone swallow. The unconventional, politically unrefined and yet refreshing ‘America First’ campaign message, that resonated so well with the voters, seems to have all together disappeared in both discourse and action. The major campaign promise to ‘Drain The Swamp’ is proving difficult to deliver on, as The Swamp (also known as the Deep State) seems to be working overtime, draining President Trump in less than 100 days.
The relationship with Russia is on a downward spiral after the President ordered an attack on a Syrian air base in light of the chemical attack in the Idlib province. NATO is no longer obsolete and in fact expanding, as President Trump signed the ratification agreement welcoming a small country of Montenegro into the alliance, while also reaffirming his support for NATO in a press conference with the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Military confrontation and yet another war seems on the horizon, both in the Middle East and on the Korean Peninsula. The Balkans are shaking again since both Macedonia and now even Serbia are experiencing massive protests, potentially thawing out some frozen conflicts left over from the 1990s. There is evidently an internal conflict brewing within the White House, signaling that all is not well between Bannon and Kushner camps, inevitably leaving someone out on the ‘you’re fired’ chopping block, and doubtful that will be the son-in-law. Therefore, one can only conclude that the messages that elected the President, America First, respect for the Rule of Law, and the commitment to the U.S. Constitution have all taken a back seat.
Guessing what could have been the cause of such a dramatic change between candidate Trump and President Trump, we could imagine that there was some sort of a conversation with the representatives of The Swamp, which went something like this: “You can have your wall, we will let you rebuild some infrastructure and bring a few jobs back, while working out trade deals. We are going to make you look real tough, but the foreign policy you leave to us, otherwise you and the family advisors will all have to vacate the premises! Oh, and by the way, you can tweet all you want! Ok?”
And that was it. Washington continues its business-as-usual trajectory.
In such dramatic, turbulent and dangerous times we live in, the above notion sounds banal, as tough trivializing the weight and importance of the Presidency. However, we have to seriously examine such rigid, seemingly overnight changes in behaviors and policy flip-flops. They certainly do not come spontaneously and out of nowhere, but impose several important questions. Can America in fact exist without the so called Swamp? Can the entire system that has been so carefully planned, nurtured and erected, over several decades, be uprooted, drained, and completely eradicated? Is there America as we know it without its Swamp?
The answers to these questions we may never know, as the strings that bind, pull and control the players within the political spectrum are tight and overpowering. However, we can imagine that such uprooting, and a total reset does not and never will come by peaceful means, nor will it depend on one person, including the President. In order for the entire structure of power to change, there has to be an apocalyptic shake-up, a complete collapse within, which comes with a price and a very high one at that. I fear that we may not be ready, nor do we want to pay it, although we all know that something smells rotten from the depths of The Swamp. But our path has been forged and we will keep going on, until we just cannot go any longer. It seems that the President also realized that The Swamp is a murky dark abyss, with many aggressive, hungry and devious beings who will drag you down and if you don’t play well, drown you with no remorse. After all, it has been said, if you cannot win, hop in to join them. You will at least live to tell about it.