Richard A. "Rich" Lowry (born August 22, 1968) is the editor of National Review, the American conservative magazine of news and opinion. He is also a syndicated columnist, author, and political commentator.
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No, the Swamp Won't Be Drained (December 01, 2016)
- It wasn’t quite “build the wall” or “lock her up,” but “drain the swamp” was a signature Donald Trump slogan. ... This was always a fantasy. The oldest story in Washington is a new president elected on a pledge to clean up Washington, who then turns to old Washington hands and well-connected financiers to help shepherd his administration. It was true of George W. Bush and Barack Obama and now will be true of the even more populist and anti-Washington Donald Trump. The swamp will endure; it always does. This doesn’t mean that a Trump administration can’t make the swamp less important.
- Trump obviously never meant to impose a wealth test on his administration, or he would have failed it himself. He is proof that a fortune isn’t necessarily an obstacle to being a champion of an agenda of populist reform.
- The fact is that in a country with an enormous federal government and a First Amendment that guarantees the right to petition the government, the swamp is always going to be extensive and miasmic. As long as there is so much power and money in D.C., the lobbyists, the consultants, the associations, the media pooh-bahs, the contractors and the courtiers will gather and jockey for influence here. There is no neutron bomb that can be set off to vaporize them.
- A proper anti-swamp agenda should consist of two things. First, and most fundamentally, it should seek to reduce the size of the federal government, and cut regulations and make them as simple as possible. The more government does, the more incentive every special interest has to hire swamp creatures, for both protection and advantage. And the more complex government is, the more opportunity those creatures have to thrive in niches unknown or poorly understood by everyone except insiders. Second, and more specifically, the federal government should be wrenched out of its cozy relationship with large, established businesses and institutions in areas ranging from health care to finance to education.
- He wouldn’t drain the swamp, but merely feed different alligators.
- National Review Online articles by Rich Lowry