Looks like the ‘swamp’ is being backfilled

“Drain the swamp.”

Although President Donald Trump’s campaign turned that into a slogan, President Ronald Reagan used the term in 1983 when referring to the federal bureaucracy. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi referenced it 12 years ago.

It alludes to the belief that our nation’s capital was built on swampland, although only a small percentage of Washington, D.C., was a swamp. But two other details about this cliche are troubling.

First is the view that swamps are bad. Swamps are forested wetlands. National Geographic considers them among the most valuable ecosystems on Earth:

“They act like giant sponges or reservoirs. When heavy rains cause flooding, swamps and other wetlands absorb excess water, moderating the effects of flooding.”

Sounds like many of our woodlots following the rainfall from earlier this week.

A swamp ecosystem also filters wastes and purifies water before it recharges groundwater supplies.

In addition, swamps offer habitat for a wide variety of life, all of which have a place in the food chain — even the annoying, disease-carrying, sometimes lethal, blood-sucking mosquito.

This brings up another troubling aspect of the “drain the swamp” mantra. Too often, the environment in Washington changes those who live and work there, even the ones who go there claiming they will change the system.

Lately, it seems, the “swamp” in our nation’s capital isn’t being drained, but rather backfilled.