“Draining the swamp” and removing corruption (crocodiles) from Washington is a difficult task. Corruption in politics comes from many things including inaccurate reporting, lobbyist groups with too much power and attention, or people with individual wants that outweigh their love of our nation.
The conservative groups in America have used the “crocodiles in the swamp” analogy to meet some of their needs over the years. From lower taxes fueled by the Koch brothers, big tobacco, and eventually, the Tea Party, to increased security backed by the industrialized war machine. Conservatives are great at getting positive things by jumping off the crocodiles in the swamp.
If there were no crocodiles to jump off of, what would the conservative platform look like?
How would draining the swamp adjust the conversation?
What Kills Americans Prematurely?
There are an array of things that kill Americans. Most of them are fairly typical, and you probably could guess: heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, cerebrovascular disease. These are conditions which mostly affect the elderly, because a third of all people die over the age of eighty-five. Most Americans live a long life, but not compared to first world countries. If you are looking to increase the American lifespan (which quite low compared to other first world countries) focusing on the premature deaths is a great way to do so.
So why is America’s life-expectancy so low? Most people die old, infant mortality is down. When compared to other first world countries, the American killers are a little bit different:
-Poor Diet/ Preventable Diseases
Some of the biggest contributing factors to U.S. deaths (other than guns and automobiles, which are tools, not reasons) are stress, easily preventable diseases that go untreated, and welfare generosity. Premature deaths are due to a lack of preventative care, something that is being removed with the new healthcare plan. With more than half a million people losing access to preventative care, and Shawn Spicer specifically mentioning it as a non-necessary part of our federal health care system, we should all be concerned that preventable deaths will continue to lower our lifespans. Stress has a whole host of effects on the human body, and while it’s easy to discount it as a factor, when easily preventable diseases induced by stress are killing people, it’s time to consider some harm-reduction efforts.
What Contributes to Debt?
Money also concerns a lot of Americans. Personal debt is a problem, but is often a sign of a larger issue. Are people stressed out, could they have health care related debt? Even in people’s darkest hours, con artists can steal money from bankruptcy filers, which only adds to debtor’s stress. Personal debt is only a small part of the issue, credit cards and mortgages being the primary additions to personal debt.
Many Americans have been able to afford homes due to deregulation in the banking industry. Unfortunately a large majority of these Americans have lost their homes due to the same deregulation. Debt management, as a nation, is something we have an issue with. From personal debt spiralling out of control, to the massive national debt, owing money is a huge source of stress for many Americans.
In many ways, deregulation of the banks was a great move by the political right that has allowed Americans to afford more (house, college, etc..). While it was started by banking lobbyists who wanted the freedom to reach more customers, it has helped many Americans.
What is a Good Safety Strategy?
Another good thing that has come from the “crocodiles in the swamp” (big money and lobbyist in Washington DC) is the amount of protection Americans have. The size and spending of the U.S. military is huge when compared to all other discretionary spending. It’s been a jobs creator, a safety measure, and a technology producer (hello, it’s how we got the internet). But, isolationism might be a good move towards the future.
The best defense as a nation is a good infrastructure. A good infrastructure has many great benefits besides being a fabulous defense. It also helps the economy and gives individuals more personal freedom to travel. If you are looking for more safety as an American, leaping off the back of the crocodile that is the industrialized military complex and looking for better infrastructure will help Americans a great deal.
Who Are The Biggest Crocodiles And Where Does Their Money Go?
There are many crocodiles (big money) hidden in politics. And while the right (and left too) have often been prey to their whims, they have also leapt from the backs of the crocodiles to make good things for the American public.
Escaping the crocodiles is hard to do. Knowing who they are is an important part of it. Like if you find a study that says flossing isn’t necessary, but find out it’s run by the waterpik industry, you get a little suspicious. You can do the same thing with politics.
The largest PACs in America are realtors, alcohol, tech, and the automobile industry. Some of the largest lobbying groups are the tech, mining, defense, and agriculture industry. Looking the crocodiles right in the eye can help you look past some of their nonsense and help you make better political decisions. The right has lept from the backs of crocodiles for years, but to drain the swamp means not getting swallowed by these beasts while trying. Are we ready to drain the swamp and kill the crocodiles?
Mary Grace is a freelance human based out the beautiful Boise, ID. She loves hiking, skiing, and human interactions. Comment down below or tweet her @marmygrace with any questions or suggestions. She’d love to hear from you.