Here's What "Drain The Swamp" Means

by Jessicah Lahitou

Donald Trump is not one to shy away from provocative, and even offensive, language. He's worn his "politically incorrect" badge proudly, and many see that as a top aspect of his appeal. Trump's latest campaign slogan (and eventual Twitter hashtag) #DrainTheSwamp is in keeping with his blunt manner of speaking, as he promises to clean out perceived corruption in D.C.

Though the broad message of making politics more accountable and transparent is one Trump supporters (and many others) are certainly drawn to, the five points of "Drain the Swamp" are actually quite detailed. For starters, the first stipulates that Trump wants to redefine "lobbyist" to include anyone who spends any time at all involved in any sort of activity that might be called "lobbying." Currently, those who engage 20 percent of their time or less in "lobbying" are not obligated to disclose their interactions, unlike professional lobbyists.

In fact, all five points encompass changing the laws about lobbying. Trump wants to bar members of Congress from entering the lobbying profession for five years after they've left office. He wants a "lifetime ban" on top executive administration staff from lobbying "on behalf of foreign governments." And Trump also wants to stop foreign lobbyists from engaging in fundraising for American elections.

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But as it often happens, the way this has played out on Twitter is a different story. Trump enthusiasts are expanding #DrainTheSwamp to include "corrupt" media, as they see it. Many of the loyal members of the #TrumpTrain blame the media for "rigging" coverage against their candidate, and tweet out accordingly.

One of the most targeted media members during Trump's campaign has been Megyn Kelly, both from Trump himself and his more ardent surrogates (ahem, Newt Gingrich). Much of this anger toward Kelly was on full display on Twitter:

The argument that all members of the media are colluding against Trump is one he regularly tweets about himself, and actively encourages at rallies. So it is little wonder that his supporters take up arms against any and all who question him.

Trump's five-point plan on paper versus the co-option of #DrainTheSwamp on Twitter illustrates the divide between genuine policy offerings and subsequent critiques, and the common desire online for more personal forms of confrontation.