It seems like the swamp is here to stay

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(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

On Oct. 18, 2016 then-candidate Donald Trump famously tweeted that his administration was going “to drain the swamp” that was Washington. The idea was that he would get rid of all the lobbyists and corporate stooges who were using their money to buy support across Capitol Hill. He was certainly not the first politician to call for the end of corruption but he made it his rallying cry. Until the election and then post-victory, Trump continued to hammer home this idea that he and his administration would be the purest thing to come to Washington. He talked as though he was the common man and he, and he alone, was going to bring back an America that was not designed for the elites.


It’s almost laughable how far America is from that idea.

Last month, Politico unveiled a story detailing how Scott Pruitt, head of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency spent over $105,000 on first-class airfare in his first year. Pruitt and his team cited that there were safety risks in flying coach and got a committee to approve the first-class tickets and a large security detail. Not physical proof of any risk could be found. Pruitt is not the first of Trump’s cabinet members to do some shady things. Trump’s former Veteran’s Affair Secretary, David Shulkin came under fire after reports surfaced that he extended a government-sponsored trip overseas into private vacation for him and his family. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson is currently under fire for attempting to purchase a $31,000 dining room table set for his office. While the order was canceled when the price came to light, Carson has yet to give a clear answer as to why the order was even considered in the first place. All of the above purchases would have been or were paid for with tax-payer money.

President Trump has been the biggest spender of all. In his first year, he cost American tax-payers around $13 million on travel alone. Most of this travel has been to his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago or to his Bedminster golf course in New Jersey.

Has anyone actually told the members of the Trump administration that people are still hurting? America is only recently starting to see real improvements from the recession. People don’t have the money to spend on themselves let alone pay for unnecessary things for the government.

And all of this just goes to show how out of touch the whole Trump administration is. Most if not all of them had a successful career in the private sector. They are used to a certain lifestyle and used to getting their way with certain things. Take Steven Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton for example. Last year, Linton and her husband took a government-sanctioned trip to Kentucky to meet with Senator Mitch McConnell and discuss policy. Linton posted on Instagram a shot of her getting off the plane and tagged a ton of major designers including Tom Ford and Valentino. She very rightfully came under fire for abusing her platform and she in turn attacked commenters back, basically making fun of them for not being as rich as she was.

These kinds of incidents would be hilarious if they weren’t so terrifying. None of these people have any sense of decency or respect for the state that many Americans are in. More than that, it goes to show how out of touch the Trump Administration is with the rest of the country. The government is supposed to represent the average American. It’s supposed to represent all aspects of the population in all of its forms.  

Yet the current government doesn’t look anything like America. Members of Trump’s cabinet and Trump himself have continued to live their best life while the rest of America is hurting. There is not an easy solution, but looking at the way things are right now it doesn’t seem like anything has really been done. The first step in solving in any issue is recognizing that there is a problem. Well, the problem is very clear. It seems like the swamp is here to stay.  


Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and weekly columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email amar.batra@uconn.edu. He tweets at @amar_batra19.

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