I Met The Swamp And It Is Us

Swamp.jpeg

So with the election came promises (and hope to some) to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. and beyond. 


That means redefining the size, scope, and purpose of federal government.


It also means reducing regulations that stifle American business and competitive advantage, placing restrictions on lobbying, and imposing term limits on Congress.


Presumably, it also means addressing mounds of fraud, waste and abuse in the system (many examples of each are out there).  


So here is a funny true story from when I was traveling recently…


A gentleman is riding with me in the elevator and he turns to me to make chit-chat. 


He says, “Good morning. Where you from?”


I smile and respond, “Washington, D.C.,” and add proudly, “the nation’s capital!”


He then asks, “What do you do there?”


Feeling a little perky that morning and with the elevator ride about to come to a stop at the lobby, I quickly blurt out, “Oh, cleaning up the swamp.”


To which, the man responds with the sarcasm galore and probably a good dose of disdain, “Yeah right!” 


There was something so comical about this scene in which I sort of baited this guy and at the same time found the reaction that is all too likely throughout America.


Do people believe and are they committed that we really do the following:


– Change the status quo of big stumbling government


– Right the wrongs done by those who take advantage of the system, its power and big money


– Restrain the ginormous national debt that threatens to consume all of us


– Fairly and compassionately address the nation’s priorities including those for national security, prosperity, and well-being


– Drain the swamp from the horrendous creatures that dwell and thrive therein


And the capital is not built on a preexisting swamp, but it did come and grow, man-made, dark and deep, as a result of the greed and fear that drives too many, far too far. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Lobbying Will Get You…Where?

Keystone
In Washington, D.C., lobbying is a way of life. 



Just walking from the State Department to the Metro means you’ll get accosted by somebody wanting action on some issue. 



I took this photo in action today of this guy obviously not in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline. 



He equates it with “Climate Chaos!”



He is holding a sign up to me and trying to hand me some literature.



Whether or not piping tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast is net good for the economy and national security or bad for the environment and global warming, is of course a matter of debate. 



But like all issues, there are two sides to everything–so prove your case!



Maybe the point to free speech is that everyone can not only have an opinion, but also express it and advocate for it. 



There can be open and amble discussion, vigorous debate, compromises, and ultimately a vote and decision–that hopefully gets us to the best course of action. 



Unlike countries run by dictators or religious fanatics who attempt to quell all opposition–where bloggers are flogged and jailed and authors and satirists are threatened and murdered–we try to make our best case and not condemn those who simply think different than us. 



In expressing ourselves here, someone may occasionally joke and say, “now don’t chop my head off for saying this,” but in other countries they really mean it! 



Tyrannical dictatorships and Jihadists terrorizing and imposing their will on the masses just won’t cut it anymore. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)