In 2009, a grassroots movement known as The TEA Party drove the first dagger into the heart of the Establishment. Regular, ordinary folks who saw the writing on the wall for higher taxes and massive spending rose in unison to chant “Taxed Enough Already.” The TEA Party led to massive changes in Congress in the 2010 election, as politicians promised that this time would be different and they would put an end to swamp politics.
The move not only scared the heck out of Democrats, but also scared the heck out of Republicans, since, in D.C., despite the bluster, there really isn’t that much difference between swamp Republicans and swamp Democrats — or Republicrats and Democans. Both have figured out how to work the system to benefit themselves and their cronies and hand out enough goodies to get re-elected every two and six years.
Two years after the swamp took that first knife, they nominated Mitt Romney, who is the quintessential swamp creature. He likely has scales on his back. He was easily defeated by Barack Obama in 2012, setting up as a colossal battle in 2016. The race was supposed to be between swamp creature Jeb Bush and Queen of the Swamp Hillary Clinton.
Then Donald Trump happened. He was panned, laughed at, told he didn’t have a chance to take on the swamp. One by one, the slithering creatures on the same stage with him fell apart. The swamp started to worry because this outsider, this orange man with his crazy hair and crazier straight talk, was showing himself to be a threat to the cozy, corrupt, politics-as-usual Washington, D.C., which enriches the elites at the expense of the everyday Joes and Janes of this country.
When Trump defeated Clinton, the Establishment went into Darth Vader mode and went nuclear. No way this one man could destroy the club, which is equal parts Democrat and Republican. The grip on power was starting to slip away as Trump gained the faith and trust of those who actually make America work. But the swamp is strong — very strong. No way Trump would win a second term — no matter what! And that is what happened, as “America” elected a man who sat in his basement during the entire campaign season. They elected an old, frail creature of the swamp. Things are back to normal for the likes of Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell.
But if we can remember one scene from that original Star Wars film of 1977, it is Darth Vader — the face of evil, the D.C. swamp — in a fight to the death with Obi-Wan Kenobe — the greatest threat to the empire. Near the end of their duel, Kenobe puts away his lightsaber, looks at his protegé Luke Skywalker and says: “You can’t win, Vader. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”
Trump is now an ex-president, but his anti-swamp, anti-Establishment message will only get stronger. Now those who loathe the Establishment must find their Skywalker to finally drive the dagger deep enough for the Swamp’s political destruction.