Return Of The Swamp Drainer: Donald Trump Making A Mockery Of Democracy

By Jim Hightower

Photos: Wikimedia Commons\YouTube Screenshots

Remember Donald Trump, the “swamp drainer”?

In 2016, candidate Trump promised to end the grubby money corruption of American politics. “The special interests, lobbyists, donors,” he rightly and righteously noted “make large contributions to politicians and they have total control of those politicians.”

Asserting that he knows the political rot better than anyone, he said he’d “fix that system, because that system is wrong.”

Eight years later, here comes the Donald again – but the swamp is bigger and suckier than ever. And instead of bold talk about draining it, Trump is auctioning off the swamp, flagrantly offering direct presidential benefits to Big Oil, Wall Street hucksters, high-tech tycoons, and all other moneyed interests that “make large contributions” to him.

How large?

The Washington Post reports that one businessman asked to have lunch with Trump, promising a million-dollar check. “I’m not having lunch,” Trump retorted. “You’ve got to make it $25 million.” He has also demanded a cool billion bucks from a covey of Big Oil executives. Promising to cut their corporate taxes and deliver an array of other special benefits, the presidential wannabe punctuated his itemization of political goodies with an unsubtle monetary nudge, saying, “be generous, please.”

Since a Supreme Court majority of extreme partisans opened the floodgates 14 years ago, corrupt corporate cash has gone from merely polluting American democracy to now swamping it.

Trump is not the only bribe huckster, but he is the most blatant, shamelessly nuclearizing the going rate for buying public policy, mocking the ideal of a citizens’ government. Trump himself is fond of telling fatcat donors that he doesn’t spend 10 minutes with anyone who can’t give $10 million.

Hello – where does that leave you and me? And our country?

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