A Plan for Draining the Swamp

Donald Trump has said that he intends to “drain the swamp,” a laudable if formidable challenge given the resistance he is bound to meet. The DNC is preparing a “war room” to fight Trump on a variety of political and domestic fronts and the left is mobilizing all its divisions to prevent the new president from governing and, if possible, to force him from office. This could amount to a kind of civil war entailing massive protests and demonstrations punctuated by instances of violence, as has occurred in the past.

The left will throw everything it can at him: marches, fake news, uncorroborated allegations, hoaxes galore, borking tantrums, Twitter storms, unceasing volumes of calumny, character assassination, riots, “classic Soviet-style disinformation” -- every weapon in its copious arsenal of smear and malice. For the left is truly maniacal in its hatreds. Trump will have to be Trump to withstand the onslaught.

There is also the factor of complexity and coordination: the swamp consists of many bights and pockets of sludge-like detritus, each of which will require a designated “task force” to clean up and decontaminate. Indeed, there is a swollen political tribe of bog men and bog women peopling that swamp who need to be exhumed and displayed in public museums as emblems of the defunct -- that is, fired and in some cases prosecuted. (Lois Lerner, anyone?) Poet Seamus Heaney would have had a field day with the denizens of our contemporary Bogland.

And the bog, as noted, is vast, a series of interlocking polders, sloughs and fens that will require years of dedicated effort to pump and empty. The effort at cadastral detoxification must begin on Day One of his presidency, as Trump has promised, if it is to have any chance of success, for delay is often the prelude to amnesia. Trump has his work cut out for him fighting jobbery, timidity, self-interest and betrayal. What follows is a selective list of the sectors of infestation that need to be expunged. They are pretty well known but an agenda booklet is always helpful.

*****

Foggy Bottom or what we might aptly call “boggy bottom.” The State Department has long had leftist inclinations and a soft-on-jihad attitude, and will work tirelessly to undermine the new president’s authority. Its current Assistant Secretary and spokesperson John Kirby, a practiced liar, is its appropriate face. For the first time in living memory, it needs to be dealt with ruthlessly, downsized, rationalized and systematically purged. In other words, it must become a government agency and not a de facto government pursuing its own policy initiatives, which differ little or not at all from the Democratic Party line. Similarly, the Federal Civil Service needs to be shrunk and its budget drastically slashed, a move that appears to be on the books.

National Intelligence and the IRS. Both services have become increasingly politicized under the Obama administration, the IRS targeting conservative sites and magazines, and the CIA under rank incompetents and partisan actors like John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, indulging in unsupported allegations regarding Russian hacking and plainly favoring the Democratic Party. These agencies must be thoroughly depoliticized, its top officials unceremoniously fired as Democratic Party toadies, ineptitude rooted out and bloat eliminated.

The UN. Violating its irenic origins, it has become a body of anti-American thugs, freeloaders and kleptocrats -- “jackals,” as Daniel Moynihan called its members -- occupying prime New York real estate and depending largely on American financial contributions to continue its operations. In a well-reasoned and historically-based argument, Bruce Thornton shows why the criminal and peculating UN is beyond reform. It should be immediately defunded if not abolished. It can maintain its Geneva headquarters, but it does not belong on American soil and does not deserve American cash. International resolutions can be passed through diplomatic channels on a nation-to-nation basis, in the same way as trade agreements can be negotiated.

The Two-State Solution. To undo the damage that Obama has wrought in harming and alienating Israel, a vital and dependable ally, a Trump administration should consider signing a mutual defense pact with the Jewish state, casting the failed two-state hallucination into the trash can, eliminating all aid to the Palestinians -- a regime of terror-enabling extortionists -- whether in the “West Bank” or Gaza, and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem -- perhaps even to East Jerusalem. A revamped State Department should frankly acknowledge, as Zahir Muhsein of the Palestinian National Council told the Dutch newspaper Trouw as far back as 1977, that “The Palestinian people does not exist…Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people…to oppose Zionism.” The Jewish people have a 3000-year history in the Holy Land. The PLO, however, was founded in 1964 in Egypt and a Palestinian entity was recognized by the Arab countries only at the 1974 Rabat Summit Conference. (See my essay “A Mid-East Fiction” for additional information.)

Entitlements. Legislation might begin by focusing on the Food Stamp program (SNAP), a necessary stand-by, but one that has been grossly abused since its introduction by LBJ, expanded at great cost to the Treasury and mired in food stamp trafficking. Its overhaul should determine: (a) those regions where it has been subject to unjustifiable exploitation and those where it is a legitimate fallback; and (b) act to reduce Federal largesse where appropriate. This would be a good place to start before considering other measures to curb an entitlement system designed to create a dependent population under the guise of battling poverty.

Foreign aid. Untold billions in foreign aid are simply wasted, supporting countries whose policies are clearly anti-American and whose ruling classes sequester these funds for their own benefit. The entire program needs to be re-thought.

Global warming. AGW is the greatest scam of our times. There has been no global warming for 21 years and the models used to predict climate change are demonstrably unreliable, if not actually fraudulent. Governments that levy carbon taxes are filling their coffers illegitimately. (See my Global Warning for a succinct analysis of the climate scandal.) Skepticism also applies to the renewable energy industry, which suffers from the “Solyndra effect,” and serves the interests not of the public but of an unaccountable cadre of cronies who profit from government grants and loans, agency funding and carbon trading schemes. The entire shakedown enterprise is due for a major debunking.

The “fake news” media. “Modern journalism,” says Daily Caller blogger Jim Treacher, “is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.” Lying to the public, whether by commission or omission, in an attempt to influence the outcome of elections or prevent their consequences is a violation of the SPJ Code of Ethics and should not be tolerated in a democratic society. News outlets with a record of purveying fake news should be put on notice that their presence at White House press conferences is no longer a given and that their participation will be carefully vetted.

Education. From K-12 to postgraduate university, the academy, generally speaking, no longer teaches but indoctrinates from the left. Students are treated like mental hosts for the implantation of Alien pods, which leave behind intellectual cadavers when the monsters emerge. A particularly harrowing example, as the National Association of Scholars reports, involves the study of Civics, which “has been stolen by left-wing activists who smuggle their agenda into colleges.” Instead of teaching students about how government works, the “New Civics is all about ‘diversity,’ environmentalism, the LGBT movement, ‘global’ citizenship, and other liberal causes.” The academy is engaged in circulating the shibboleths of the day, not in providing real education. “Achievement is lower, even as grades are higher; jargon is more pretentious; and promises become ever more grandiose,” writes Bruce Deitrick Price, who runs the education site Improve-Education.org. “Professors of education who labor mightily to undercut education should be a national joke.” But nobody is laughing.

The education paradigm is infected by the practices of professional ideologues who, as David French writes in National Review, have installed “a ferocious new faith -- a social justice progressivism unrestrained by humility and consumed with religious zeal.” The social justice meme has no business in the curriculum. Similarly, affirmative action and preferential hiring, still very much in place, must become a thing of the disreputable past. The Core Curriculum, which has pedagogically impoverished American students, must be scrapped. Title IX has to be quashed. And a scrupulous review of professional personnel at all levels should be undertaken to distinguish genuine teachers from propagandists, with a view to rewarding merit and deprivileging mediocrity and partisanship. The viability of tenure may also come under consideration. Tuition fees will need to come down, perhaps by decoupling Pell grants from tuition hikes, and the funding stick will have to be brandished mercilessly.

As Richard F. Miniter points out, the education boondoggle costs $620,000,000,000 annually, to regularly graduate functionally illiterate students. Despite the vicious attack by liberal/Left advocacy organizations -- the ACLU, the Interfaith Alliance, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and others -- on Trump’s pick for secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, she seems the right person to drain this part of the malarial swamp afflicting the country. DeVos is all for school choice, the voucher system and open enrollment, which clearly foster educational achievement. May she prosper in this difficult job.

Obamacare. Some say this disaster, which has grown largely unaffordable and chaotic, should be revised; others believe it should be repealed. Obamacare cannot be saved and needs to be replaced by a free market system with selective and unobtrusive government oversight. As Jon Hall points out in an impeccably reasoned article, it is simply unaffordable, “a drag on the economy” and an “unlimited claim on future revenue.” The requirement to insure pre-existing conditions raises the cost of premiums astronomically, which thus entails the mandates, i.e., the use of force. Moreover, it is a giant step toward a “single payer” medical system, which has failed miserably wherever it has been implemented, including my own country, Canada. Obamacare was never about “fixing the health insurance business [or] lowering premium prices,” says Hall. “It was about creating dependency, expanding the welfare state, and consolidating the power of central government.” It’s got to go.

Immigration. So much has already been written about the travesty known as immigration that suffice it to say Trump is right and his critics in the left-wing media and social justice sites are calamitously wrong. Two kinds of barriers need to be built: a physical wall/fence to keep out crime and disease imported by illegal aliens breaching the southern border (forget “undocumented workers”) and stringent vetting protocols to dramatically reduce Muslim immigration, from which cultural unrest inexorably ensues and from whose ranks the jihadists spring. Enough Americans have died from the violence associated with the creatures from the black lagoon sector of the swamp.

The Military. “Obama has left America’s armed forces in worse shape than at any time since the Great Depression,” observes Bruce Walker. Military capabilities have been severely degraded. Indeed, the armed forces have been scaled down, “pussified,” and transformed under Obama, as Rick Moran writes, into “a gigantic social sciences lab.” “The government will even pay for some gender reassignment surgeries for trans soldiers…. It seems that President Obama has cared more about imposing his cultural agenda on the military rather than winning wars.” The uniform no longer commands respect or serves to reinforce esprit de corps. Muslim and Sikh soldiers can now wear the hijab or the turban. Adhering to the dictates of multiculturalism is more important than fielding a fighting force. The military has been routinely humiliated by the Russians buzzing an American ship, Chinese expansion into the Pacific or the Iranian taking of prisoners in the Gulf. There can be no doubt that the armed forces need to be honored, rebuilt and restored to their former position of world dominance if American prestige and security in an increasingly dangerous world are to be prioritized.

The Supreme Court. As everyone recognizes, the composition of the Supreme Court is critical to the sociopolitical direction the country will follow. As currently constituted, justices like Sonia Sotomayer (of “wise Latina” fame) and the ethically compromised Elena Kagan do not belong on so exalted an institution. Despite the opposition of Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, it is clear that Trump will have to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia with a worthy and reputable nominee and gradually steer the court toward a dispensation more in touch with traditional American values of procedural justice, individualism and freedom of speech and conscience. A recent poll suggests a large majority of American agree, preferring an “originalist” Constitution to the oxymoron of a “living constitution” -- which is anything a activist judiciary can make up or powerful interests regard as politically advantageous.

Iran. A powerful mix of muscular diplomacy and military threat will have to supplant the toxic alliance that Obama has cemented with the Iranian mullocracy. The lifting of sanctions, the facilitation of Iran’s nuclear program in more ways than one, and the paying of ransom for hostages have empowered the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism and America’s number one enemy. This arrangement is very close to treason. Iran must be stopped in its tracks before the situation becomes irreversible.

The Republican Party. One of the major tasks that confronts Trump now is the renovation of his own party, which is also part of the swamp. True, Trump was not acting “presidential” in the earlier days of the nomination cycle, unable to restrain his sense of indignation over the lies, slanders and animadversions hurled his way by his own party competitors and conservative authors and editors. He was clearly provoked; his error was in prolonging the fracas via retaliations. But the fault rested primarily with the Party itself -- Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, etc. -- who gave him little to no support, to put it mildly, and with his conservative assailants -- Jonah Goldberg, George Will, Bill Kristol, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, etc. -- who maligned him at every turn. In effect, all these celebrated figures were busy shilling for Hillary.

Writing in American Thinker, Christopher West suggests that “while we must unite and even forgive our wayward rank-and-file GOP brethren who chose not to support our efforts, we must never forget those who engaged in outright acts of treachery that jeopardized our cause and our nation's future.” West is referring “to those Republicans who had such a vested interest (emotional, financial, or otherwise) in maintaining… the same stale policies that had long served their personal and business interests at the expense of the Republican electorate and their country.” He is willing to forgive, “to welcome rank-and-file Republicans back into the fold.” Nevertheless, he concludes, “We should never forget the transgressions perpetrated by the leadership of the ‘NeverTrump’ movement.”

But what does forgiving but not forgetting really mean?  Are party loyalists, grass roots members and the Trump administration to reconcile with those who will not, as West writes, “have our back when we face fire from the left and who will have our back only as long as it is professionally and personally expedient to do so”? This doesn’t make much sense. The Republican Party must undergo a comprehensive scouring and vetting to bring it back into contact with its voters. Similarly, fair-weather conservative commentators who acted in such a way as to promote a Clinton electoral victory should no longer be taken seriously. They are the intellectual pariahs of the right, whom Thomas Carlyle would have described as “full of unwise intellect.”

*****

Critics and detractors, like Canadian historian James Laxer, who thinks he understands the U.S. but has still to change his (red) diaper, plainly interprets the resurgence of a proud and vital America as a rearguard action by an atavistic and desperate “old America.” Adapting Lincoln’s phrase as the title of one of his books, “A House Divided,” Laxer associates the American right with the antebellum South. Is old America out of touch with the progressivist social and cultural transformation of the country? Or are Laxerian intellectuals merely swamp dwellers, bogmen of the left, divorced from the new American reality? The incoming administration will answer that question.

There is, obviously, a lot of swamp to tackle, both the individual zones of which it consists and the destructive ideology that filled it in the first place. It will take time, but each of the relevant departments and respondents assigned the mission should be given the green light to aggressively pursue a long overdue recovery program. After the creation of so brackish and festering a marsh, an act of radical cleansing across the board is the only way forward.

Mr. Trump, drain this swamp.

Donald Trump has said that he intends to “drain the swamp,” a laudable if formidable challenge given the resistance he is bound to meet. The DNC is preparing a “war room” to fight Trump on a variety of political and domestic fronts and the left is mobilizing all its divisions to prevent the new president from governing and, if possible, to force him from office. This could amount to a kind of civil war entailing massive protests and demonstrations punctuated by instances of violence, as has occurred in the past.

The left will throw everything it can at him: marches, fake news, uncorroborated allegations, hoaxes galore, borking tantrums, Twitter storms, unceasing volumes of calumny, character assassination, riots, “classic Soviet-style disinformation” -- every weapon in its copious arsenal of smear and malice. For the left is truly maniacal in its hatreds. Trump will have to be Trump to withstand the onslaught.

There is also the factor of complexity and coordination: the swamp consists of many bights and pockets of sludge-like detritus, each of which will require a designated “task force” to clean up and decontaminate. Indeed, there is a swollen political tribe of bog men and bog women peopling that swamp who need to be exhumed and displayed in public museums as emblems of the defunct -- that is, fired and in some cases prosecuted. (Lois Lerner, anyone?) Poet Seamus Heaney would have had a field day with the denizens of our contemporary Bogland.

And the bog, as noted, is vast, a series of interlocking polders, sloughs and fens that will require years of dedicated effort to pump and empty. The effort at cadastral detoxification must begin on Day One of his presidency, as Trump has promised, if it is to have any chance of success, for delay is often the prelude to amnesia. Trump has his work cut out for him fighting jobbery, timidity, self-interest and betrayal. What follows is a selective list of the sectors of infestation that need to be expunged. They are pretty well known but an agenda booklet is always helpful.

*****

Foggy Bottom or what we might aptly call “boggy bottom.” The State Department has long had leftist inclinations and a soft-on-jihad attitude, and will work tirelessly to undermine the new president’s authority. Its current Assistant Secretary and spokesperson John Kirby, a practiced liar, is its appropriate face. For the first time in living memory, it needs to be dealt with ruthlessly, downsized, rationalized and systematically purged. In other words, it must become a government agency and not a de facto government pursuing its own policy initiatives, which differ little or not at all from the Democratic Party line. Similarly, the Federal Civil Service needs to be shrunk and its budget drastically slashed, a move that appears to be on the books.

National Intelligence and the IRS. Both services have become increasingly politicized under the Obama administration, the IRS targeting conservative sites and magazines, and the CIA under rank incompetents and partisan actors like John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, indulging in unsupported allegations regarding Russian hacking and plainly favoring the Democratic Party. These agencies must be thoroughly depoliticized, its top officials unceremoniously fired as Democratic Party toadies, ineptitude rooted out and bloat eliminated.

The UN. Violating its irenic origins, it has become a body of anti-American thugs, freeloaders and kleptocrats -- “jackals,” as Daniel Moynihan called its members -- occupying prime New York real estate and depending largely on American financial contributions to continue its operations. In a well-reasoned and historically-based argument, Bruce Thornton shows why the criminal and peculating UN is beyond reform. It should be immediately defunded if not abolished. It can maintain its Geneva headquarters, but it does not belong on American soil and does not deserve American cash. International resolutions can be passed through diplomatic channels on a nation-to-nation basis, in the same way as trade agreements can be negotiated.

The Two-State Solution. To undo the damage that Obama has wrought in harming and alienating Israel, a vital and dependable ally, a Trump administration should consider signing a mutual defense pact with the Jewish state, casting the failed two-state hallucination into the trash can, eliminating all aid to the Palestinians -- a regime of terror-enabling extortionists -- whether in the “West Bank” or Gaza, and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem -- perhaps even to East Jerusalem. A revamped State Department should frankly acknowledge, as Zahir Muhsein of the Palestinian National Council told the Dutch newspaper Trouw as far back as 1977, that “The Palestinian people does not exist…Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people…to oppose Zionism.” The Jewish people have a 3000-year history in the Holy Land. The PLO, however, was founded in 1964 in Egypt and a Palestinian entity was recognized by the Arab countries only at the 1974 Rabat Summit Conference. (See my essay “A Mid-East Fiction” for additional information.)

Entitlements. Legislation might begin by focusing on the Food Stamp program (SNAP), a necessary stand-by, but one that has been grossly abused since its introduction by LBJ, expanded at great cost to the Treasury and mired in food stamp trafficking. Its overhaul should determine: (a) those regions where it has been subject to unjustifiable exploitation and those where it is a legitimate fallback; and (b) act to reduce Federal largesse where appropriate. This would be a good place to start before considering other measures to curb an entitlement system designed to create a dependent population under the guise of battling poverty.

Foreign aid. Untold billions in foreign aid are simply wasted, supporting countries whose policies are clearly anti-American and whose ruling classes sequester these funds for their own benefit. The entire program needs to be re-thought.

Global warming. AGW is the greatest scam of our times. There has been no global warming for 21 years and the models used to predict climate change are demonstrably unreliable, if not actually fraudulent. Governments that levy carbon taxes are filling their coffers illegitimately. (See my Global Warning for a succinct analysis of the climate scandal.) Skepticism also applies to the renewable energy industry, which suffers from the “Solyndra effect,” and serves the interests not of the public but of an unaccountable cadre of cronies who profit from government grants and loans, agency funding and carbon trading schemes. The entire shakedown enterprise is due for a major debunking.

The “fake news” media. “Modern journalism,” says Daily Caller blogger Jim Treacher, “is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.” Lying to the public, whether by commission or omission, in an attempt to influence the outcome of elections or prevent their consequences is a violation of the SPJ Code of Ethics and should not be tolerated in a democratic society. News outlets with a record of purveying fake news should be put on notice that their presence at White House press conferences is no longer a given and that their participation will be carefully vetted.

Education. From K-12 to postgraduate university, the academy, generally speaking, no longer teaches but indoctrinates from the left. Students are treated like mental hosts for the implantation of Alien pods, which leave behind intellectual cadavers when the monsters emerge. A particularly harrowing example, as the National Association of Scholars reports, involves the study of Civics, which “has been stolen by left-wing activists who smuggle their agenda into colleges.” Instead of teaching students about how government works, the “New Civics is all about ‘diversity,’ environmentalism, the LGBT movement, ‘global’ citizenship, and other liberal causes.” The academy is engaged in circulating the shibboleths of the day, not in providing real education. “Achievement is lower, even as grades are higher; jargon is more pretentious; and promises become ever more grandiose,” writes Bruce Deitrick Price, who runs the education site Improve-Education.org. “Professors of education who labor mightily to undercut education should be a national joke.” But nobody is laughing.

The education paradigm is infected by the practices of professional ideologues who, as David French writes in National Review, have installed “a ferocious new faith -- a social justice progressivism unrestrained by humility and consumed with religious zeal.” The social justice meme has no business in the curriculum. Similarly, affirmative action and preferential hiring, still very much in place, must become a thing of the disreputable past. The Core Curriculum, which has pedagogically impoverished American students, must be scrapped. Title IX has to be quashed. And a scrupulous review of professional personnel at all levels should be undertaken to distinguish genuine teachers from propagandists, with a view to rewarding merit and deprivileging mediocrity and partisanship. The viability of tenure may also come under consideration. Tuition fees will need to come down, perhaps by decoupling Pell grants from tuition hikes, and the funding stick will have to be brandished mercilessly.

As Richard F. Miniter points out, the education boondoggle costs $620,000,000,000 annually, to regularly graduate functionally illiterate students. Despite the vicious attack by liberal/Left advocacy organizations -- the ACLU, the Interfaith Alliance, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and others -- on Trump’s pick for secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, she seems the right person to drain this part of the malarial swamp afflicting the country. DeVos is all for school choice, the voucher system and open enrollment, which clearly foster educational achievement. May she prosper in this difficult job.

Obamacare. Some say this disaster, which has grown largely unaffordable and chaotic, should be revised; others believe it should be repealed. Obamacare cannot be saved and needs to be replaced by a free market system with selective and unobtrusive government oversight. As Jon Hall points out in an impeccably reasoned article, it is simply unaffordable, “a drag on the economy” and an “unlimited claim on future revenue.” The requirement to insure pre-existing conditions raises the cost of premiums astronomically, which thus entails the mandates, i.e., the use of force. Moreover, it is a giant step toward a “single payer” medical system, which has failed miserably wherever it has been implemented, including my own country, Canada. Obamacare was never about “fixing the health insurance business [or] lowering premium prices,” says Hall. “It was about creating dependency, expanding the welfare state, and consolidating the power of central government.” It’s got to go.

Immigration. So much has already been written about the travesty known as immigration that suffice it to say Trump is right and his critics in the left-wing media and social justice sites are calamitously wrong. Two kinds of barriers need to be built: a physical wall/fence to keep out crime and disease imported by illegal aliens breaching the southern border (forget “undocumented workers”) and stringent vetting protocols to dramatically reduce Muslim immigration, from which cultural unrest inexorably ensues and from whose ranks the jihadists spring. Enough Americans have died from the violence associated with the creatures from the black lagoon sector of the swamp.

The Military. “Obama has left America’s armed forces in worse shape than at any time since the Great Depression,” observes Bruce Walker. Military capabilities have been severely degraded. Indeed, the armed forces have been scaled down, “pussified,” and transformed under Obama, as Rick Moran writes, into “a gigantic social sciences lab.” “The government will even pay for some gender reassignment surgeries for trans soldiers…. It seems that President Obama has cared more about imposing his cultural agenda on the military rather than winning wars.” The uniform no longer commands respect or serves to reinforce esprit de corps. Muslim and Sikh soldiers can now wear the hijab or the turban. Adhering to the dictates of multiculturalism is more important than fielding a fighting force. The military has been routinely humiliated by the Russians buzzing an American ship, Chinese expansion into the Pacific or the Iranian taking of prisoners in the Gulf. There can be no doubt that the armed forces need to be honored, rebuilt and restored to their former position of world dominance if American prestige and security in an increasingly dangerous world are to be prioritized.

The Supreme Court. As everyone recognizes, the composition of the Supreme Court is critical to the sociopolitical direction the country will follow. As currently constituted, justices like Sonia Sotomayer (of “wise Latina” fame) and the ethically compromised Elena Kagan do not belong on so exalted an institution. Despite the opposition of Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, it is clear that Trump will have to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia with a worthy and reputable nominee and gradually steer the court toward a dispensation more in touch with traditional American values of procedural justice, individualism and freedom of speech and conscience. A recent poll suggests a large majority of American agree, preferring an “originalist” Constitution to the oxymoron of a “living constitution” -- which is anything a activist judiciary can make up or powerful interests regard as politically advantageous.

Iran. A powerful mix of muscular diplomacy and military threat will have to supplant the toxic alliance that Obama has cemented with the Iranian mullocracy. The lifting of sanctions, the facilitation of Iran’s nuclear program in more ways than one, and the paying of ransom for hostages have empowered the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism and America’s number one enemy. This arrangement is very close to treason. Iran must be stopped in its tracks before the situation becomes irreversible.

The Republican Party. One of the major tasks that confronts Trump now is the renovation of his own party, which is also part of the swamp. True, Trump was not acting “presidential” in the earlier days of the nomination cycle, unable to restrain his sense of indignation over the lies, slanders and animadversions hurled his way by his own party competitors and conservative authors and editors. He was clearly provoked; his error was in prolonging the fracas via retaliations. But the fault rested primarily with the Party itself -- Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, etc. -- who gave him little to no support, to put it mildly, and with his conservative assailants -- Jonah Goldberg, George Will, Bill Kristol, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, etc. -- who maligned him at every turn. In effect, all these celebrated figures were busy shilling for Hillary.

Writing in American Thinker, Christopher West suggests that “while we must unite and even forgive our wayward rank-and-file GOP brethren who chose not to support our efforts, we must never forget those who engaged in outright acts of treachery that jeopardized our cause and our nation's future.” West is referring “to those Republicans who had such a vested interest (emotional, financial, or otherwise) in maintaining… the same stale policies that had long served their personal and business interests at the expense of the Republican electorate and their country.” He is willing to forgive, “to welcome rank-and-file Republicans back into the fold.” Nevertheless, he concludes, “We should never forget the transgressions perpetrated by the leadership of the ‘NeverTrump’ movement.”

But what does forgiving but not forgetting really mean?  Are party loyalists, grass roots members and the Trump administration to reconcile with those who will not, as West writes, “have our back when we face fire from the left and who will have our back only as long as it is professionally and personally expedient to do so”? This doesn’t make much sense. The Republican Party must undergo a comprehensive scouring and vetting to bring it back into contact with its voters. Similarly, fair-weather conservative commentators who acted in such a way as to promote a Clinton electoral victory should no longer be taken seriously. They are the intellectual pariahs of the right, whom Thomas Carlyle would have described as “full of unwise intellect.”

*****

Critics and detractors, like Canadian historian James Laxer, who thinks he understands the U.S. but has still to change his (red) diaper, plainly interprets the resurgence of a proud and vital America as a rearguard action by an atavistic and desperate “old America.” Adapting Lincoln’s phrase as the title of one of his books, “A House Divided,” Laxer associates the American right with the antebellum South. Is old America out of touch with the progressivist social and cultural transformation of the country? Or are Laxerian intellectuals merely swamp dwellers, bogmen of the left, divorced from the new American reality? The incoming administration will answer that question.

There is, obviously, a lot of swamp to tackle, both the individual zones of which it consists and the destructive ideology that filled it in the first place. It will take time, but each of the relevant departments and respondents assigned the mission should be given the green light to aggressively pursue a long overdue recovery program. After the creation of so brackish and festering a marsh, an act of radical cleansing across the board is the only way forward.

Mr. Trump, drain this swamp.

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