“Drain the Swamp”: Trump Vows to Clean Up Washington

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Disgusted by the revelations within the John Podesta emails, Donald Trump announced a series of proposals this week aimed at cleaning up corruption in the nation’s capital. In front of a crowd in Grand Junction, Wisconsin on Tuesday, Trump highlighted a five-point plan designed to “drain the swamp” of Washington, D.C. and limit the power of lobbyists foreign and domestic.

Among Trump’s proposals: A 5-year ban on former executive branch officials and congressmen lobbying the federal government after they leave office, a lifetime ban on senior administration officials lobbying for foreign governments, and a ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American electoral candidates.

“Either we win this election or we lose this country,” Trump said. “Under a Trump administration, it’s going to be America First.”

Trump said the American people could not expect change if we kept voting the same old politicians into office.

“We have to give new voices a chance so we can have a government that works again and can function properly,” Trump said.

In Wilmington, North Carolina, Trump’s running mate pitched the five-point plan to supporters in the Tarheel State.

Mike Pence said that Hillary Clinton’s actions as secretary of state were evidence that we needed serious reform in D.C.

“At least a dozen families that gave money to the Clinton Family Foundation also lobbied the State Department using lobbyists who doubled as major Clinton campaign fundraisers,” said Pence.

“We’re going to drain the swamp,” he continued. “In order to restore the highest standard of ethics in the highest office in the land and throughout our national government we must make sure that Hillary Clinton is never elected President of the United States.”

Naturally, critics in both the liberal and conservative blogosphere have broken down Trump’s proposals, examined them, made judgments, etc. That’s fine. That should be done when a presidential candidate proffers policy. And since this election cycle has been rather light on issues, it’s nice to see everyone take a step back from the drama for some serious analysis.

But in this case, forget about the substance for a second. Maybe Trump’s proposals would make a difference, maybe they wouldn’t. The bigger point is the one Pence made in Wilmington. If you want to effect ethical change in Washington, you can’t start by electing the most corrupt individual to ever run for the presidency.

We don’t have to “fix Washington” in one fell swoop. We just have to start taking some steps in the right direction.