Trump has promised to drain the swamp.
Then in his acceptance speech, he promised not to drain the swamp.
This is less worrying than it might seem, since when you purge powerful people, you don’t want them to see it coming.
From now till the start of the purge, he is going to be playing his cards very close to his chest. Any predictions made from his behavior between now and the purge will be incorrect, because his behavior between now and the purge will be deceptively moderate. The start of the purge will itself be deceptively moderate. And then he will keep on purging. How far he will go, nobody knows. I don’t know.
I would guess the purge starts in March at the earliest. First he has to get his key people into position. Then suddenly, wham, he gets his enemies out of position.
He has for many years been psychologically preparing the American people for massive firings of the permanent government, which firings the courts will deem illegal, but the public will wonder what the hell the courts are maundering about. These firings will happen when those he is about to fire are least expecting it, when they think they have gotten the upper hand over Trump. And during the first months of a Trump government, it will look as if they have the upper hand over Trump.
There may well be a Reichstag fire moment, when something happens that dramatically symbolizes the resistance of the permanent government to the merely elected government. Expect the newspapers to return to their old form and triumphantly announce how Trump has been decisively and humiliatingly defeated, how his policy is in ruins, because impossible to implement. If, as is likely, they announce that, they are falling into his trap, as when the Comintern set fire to the conveniently unguarded Reichstag.
The big known unknown is how thoroughly he intends to drain the swamp.
What we would like Trump to do is purge the government of traitors, bribe takers, degenerates, people on the revolving door between regulators and regulated, enemies of America, and, of course, Satanists. The Ming Dynasty criminalized sects because of the propensity of sect members to attain political power, such as the Ming dynasty itself. Deem membership of a sect that does weird stuff moral turpitude. Then fix numerous consent judgments organized by the Justice Department that make political dissent a violation of the affirmative action laws. Generate a precedent that disparate impact is legal, and unambiguously legalize domain specific IQ tests of the Fizzbuzz type or domain appropriate physical tests of the Marine pull up type. If only 0.1% of female and black applicants pass your company’s Fizzbuzz, you should have a cast iron defense against discrimination charges, even if search of your emails reveal engineers saying hateful things about women and blacks. Generate the legal precedent that evidence of political dissent cannot be presented as evidence of discrimination, and may not be presented in court because it merely prejudices the judgment. Then reverse the degree inflation that forces ever increasing numbers of students to spend ever increasing time in educational institutions that do not educate but merely indoctrinate. then confiscate the endowments, burn Harvard to the ground and salt the earth where it stood. Or redevelop Harvard into shops, offices, and hotels, which is more Trump’s style.
And, of course, use state power over cable and broadcast television to encourage the companies to fire Colbert and replace him with someone with an actual sense of humor and willingness to puncture actual sacred cows, like Pax Dickinson.
But before he gets to making Saturday Night Live funny again, has to get to redevelop Harvard into shops, condos, hotels, and offices.
Currently we have an elaborate system where committees give grants to people who are on committees. This renders power and funding untraceable and difficult to control. To drain the swamp, has to run government money through a direct hierarchy operating on das Führerprinzip.
So the Dean of a university should be appointed by the board, the Dean should have the power to hire and fire professors, and all academic funding should go through university, which is to say through the dean. If the Pentagon wants a professor at MIT to research something, it should pay MIT, not the professor.
We should abolish tenure. Tenure was supposed to make professors proudly independent and capable of dissent, but instead every single academic at every single institution grovels. When the line changes, every professor changes his position and instantly forgets that the line was different yesterday. The line emerges from an amorphous mass of committees, obscuring who has power and who makes decisions.
Outside funding of academics should be seen as corrupting. Would Steve Jobs be happy if one of his executives received large payments from a committee containing people connected to a competing company? All funding should go directly through the board and Dean/CEO.
And when we have replaced hidden lines of authority with direct lines of authority, on das Führerprinzip, we can then hold those with that authority responsible for what they do with it.
After getting rid of committees and outside funding, which hides who has power and who makes decisions, then and only then can we purge academia.
That is what is needed to stop Cthulhu from always swimming left, that is what is needed to make Saturday Night Live funny again. Whether Trump is up to go all the way with this program is, of course, the big known unknown.