A great column by the Washington Free Beacon’s Matt Continetti on what ‘drain the swamp’, a common refrain among Trump supporters, really means:
Democrats and the media are confused about the meaning of Donald Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. The president-elect’s critics say his appointment of wealthy Republicans to cabinet positions is hypocritical and reveals him to be a phony populist. “Hypocrisy at its worst,” cry Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. “Trump’s Economic Cabinet Picks Signal Embrace of Wall St. Elite,” reads the headline on the New York Times. “Stick a sterling silver fork in Trump’s ‘populism,’” reads the title of a Washington Post column….
The mark of a populist isn’t his net worth but his relationship to the establishment, his rejection of the ideologies, fashions, clichés, and manners of the political and social and cultural elite, his attitude toward the capacities of ordinary people to manage their daily affairs. Rich as he might be, Donald Trump’s candidacy was an exercise in populist confrontation and polarization. He ran against the eastern establishment of both parties with his opposition to comprehensive immigration reform, criticism of global trade, and repudiation of the foreign policies of the last two presidents. His blunt, uncouth, dramatic, untutored, brash, politically incorrect manner was about as far as one can get from elite habits of deference and groupthink. For decades, the nation’s cultural and political elites treated him with disdain, disgust, or ironic fascination. Trump was the original deplorable. That’s how he forged a gut connection with his base of white voters without college degrees.
CommentsComments are turned off for this article.