The Swamp

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

Washington, D.C. is a beautiful city, at least on the surface. You might be surprised to learn that it was built on swamp land unsuitable for farming or much else.

The layout for the city was done by Pierre L’Enfant, who left France to fight in the Revolutionary War. The L’enfant subway station carries his name. Beautiful buildings, important historical sites, evocative monuments, as well as cultural and educative venues, make Washington one of the most beautiful and intriguing cities in the world. So, if you’ve never been to our nation’s capital, you need not travel to Paris or Prague to see beauty. Just get in your car and drive up the Shenandoah Valley and experience your heritage.

Unfortunately, these days the word miasma (look it up) best describes our capitol. I first heard the word miasmic in describing unhealthy air around an operating table. Before modern science discovered the cause of diseases like malaria, it was observed that illness often occurred around swampy areas. Extrapolating from this observation, surgeons often operated with the windows wide open and even used fans to circulate air and remove unhealthy vapors.

Many discoveries occur from chance observations. The era of antisepsis including our modern day hand sanitizers, began with the Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis in the mid 1800s. He was puzzled that childbirth associated sepsis (puerperal infection) was rare in women who delivered outside the hospital, but occurred in up to 10% of those admitted for deliveries.

Semmelweis ruled out factors such as overcrowding and climate, finally concluding that infection was associated with doctors. He postulated that “particles” transmitted by the then common practice of surgeons not washing their hands was the cause of puerperal sepsis. Semmelweis used a weak solution of chlorinated lime to drastically reduce obstetrical infections. He was using what we now consider an antiseptic or antibacterial hand and environmental sanitizer.

Unfortunately, Semmelweis’ observations, hypothesis and his experimental evidence were rejected by the medical establishment. It would be years later that Lister developed the modern germ theory which we now accept. And the pasteurization process developed by Pasteur was used to eliminate a form of tuberculosis transmitted in cow milk. The surgical standard these days is even more stringent requiring a sterile environment where all bacteria on the skin are killed before the first incision.

Free flowing water is not conducive to swamps. Unfortunately, the American heritage of freedom no longer runs free in the swamp of Washington, D.C. Freedom has become subservient to political parties, lobbyists, monied power brokers, activists and the ruling class. Some say that the miasmic swamp of Washington has actually devolved into a cesspool with a “do nothing Congress,” self-serving career politicians, obstructionism, treasonous leaks and media swamp rats.

I don’t believe there’s any difference between a Republican and a Democrat politician. The party of Lincoln and the party of John Kennedy no longer exist. And the moniker of GOP or Democrat has become meaningless. Our Founders constructed a representative republic, but our elected representatives no longer represent We The People. These political swamp rats court our vote, then break their promises to us. They ask for donations, but are not interested in what we think. Joe Manchin, perhaps the last true Democrat in the Senate, recently said as much. And the odious Mitch McConnell is even worse. We can only hope that they are all circling the drain and will be flushed away in the rising storm.

I no longer read the utterly dishonest New York Times or the Washington Post. I no longer listen to Fox, ABC or CNN, who likewise have sold their souls to the devil. Andy Warhol once said everyone wants their “fifteen minutes of fame.” The Master once asked the question, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” The networks have sold their souls for profit share. “News” anchors sell their souls for fame. And the wannabes just stand in line with the hopes of being noticed. They are all despicable and pitiable.

Actually, Woody Allen had more insight than Andy Warhol. He said most of life is just showing up. I believe that most of life is being included by family and friends rather than stewing over the latest manufactured crisis or the vitriol of TV talking heads.

I’ve asked myself many times, what drives President Trump? Surely it is not money because he has more than he could ever spend. Surely it is not fame because he already has more notoriety than 99.99% of other men. And surely he knows enough of human nature that he’s not the nice, starry eyed Mr. Smith who went to Washington in Frank Capra’s movie. So why would Trump subject himself and his family to the cesspool of Washington where duplicity and evil abounds? Perhaps he just wants to make a difference and drain the swamp. And his passion and energy are infectious. Where does he get such energy? I’m 66 years old and, though I’m passionate about my country, I don’t have the energy that Trump possesses.

I have pretty thick skin (you need thick skin to air your opinions in today’s PC culture.) However, I could not do what Trump is attempting. He has taken the challenge of draining a swamp full of Washington elites, big money, the media, academia and the ruling class. People criticize Trump’s directness and his choice of words. I likewise sometimes cringe. However, if I were president and living among the swamp of reprobates, I can assure you that my verbiage would be of even greater “fire and fury.”

As I have written previously, Donald Trump was not my first or second choice for president. However, he was far better than any of the alternatives and he is now the duly elected president of United States. I disagreed with almost everything President Obama said and did, but I did not join any resistance movement or plot to subvert the Constitution or the will of the people.

I called my Tennessee senators last week and told them I thought it was time they stood on the Capitol steps and said that they support the duly elected president of our United States. If they choose not to represent the wishes of the majority of Tennesseans, then they and their party, are not worthy of our support. It’s time to stand up and be counted. Tell them so.

Their telephone numbers are:

Lamar Alexander 202-224-4494

Bob Corker 202-224-3344

 

 

 

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