Crossing the Swamp

By Katie Kieffer

Washington Crosses the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze

Painting: “Washington Crosses the Delaware” by Emanuel G. Leutze. Photo by Gerard Van der Leun on Flickr via Creative Commons.

It’s not about “draining the swamp.” It’s about crossing the swamp—and overcoming the bog in a bold bout much like George Washington’s surprise attack in the Battle of Trenton after crossing the Delaware on Christmas Day, 1776.

Our first President was a good man. He led by example, enduring the cold alongside his men unlike generals of lesser mettle, who shouted commands from a warm tent out of range of fire. Washington took pride in keeping his commitments, personal and professional.

Recently, I finished reading “Killing England” by Bill O’Reilly. I learned a great deal that I never knew about our first president. The book also gave me a new perspective on the increasing cries that we hear—including from Republicans—for Trump’s impeachment; for Trump to throw his Twitter account away; and for Trump to “work with” Democrats and “get something done.”

Washington never “worked with” the British in his journey to win independence for the American colonies. (Unless you count capitalizing on weaknesses in England’s war strategy, such as Gen. Cornwallis’ incredibly poor positioning in the 1781 Siege of Yorktown.)

Washington was scorned and ridiculed by certain foreign dignitaries and even many American generals who looked down on him because of his common upbringing. Yet next to no one outdid Washington in terms of action. Washington walked the walk, alongside tired troops tramping in the frigid snow.

But Washington had a strong inner circle of support. Who is supporting Trump? “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about,” former president Jimmy Carter recently admitted.

Where is Trump’s Support?

George Washington kept his trusted supporters very close. He leaned heavily on his family and friends. They lifted his spirits and gave him the courage to face day after day and year after year of cold, sickness and bloodshed.

Whenever safe, Washington brought his cherished wife Martha to stay with him at camp. He also promoted and gave great responsibility to a few trusted military aides. Which is why he felt so betrayed—and uniquely angry—when one man who he had particularly promoted and trusted—Benedict Arnold—betrayed him, and America.

Humans—even the most noble among us—struggle to be virtuous and effective alone. Indeed, it takes humility to realize that we need the ongoing love and support of others. It also takes humility to be that ongoing support.

What are you and I doing to support Trump? Are we doing all we can to pressure Republicans to back Trump? After all, voters like us are the only ones capable of pressuring Republicans to do what they said they’d do when we elected them—primarily enforce and reform migration laws and repeal and replace ObamaCare.

It’s unfair for us to metaphorically throw up our hands and dump our problems on President Trump. We can’t pat ourselves on the back if our own political engagement amounts to voting and passively nodding when our friends complain about the Trump administration.

Every single man and every single woman on this planet is called to be courageous. Real world courage lies in performing seemingly small—but crucial—everyday acts with kindness and humility. Like responding to a client or coworker who complains about Trump by offering a different opinion. (They will respect you for having beliefs and a backbone, even if they initially disagree.)

George Washington is famous for crossing the Delaware in a bold, surprise attack with the help of thousands of brave soldiers. Today, Trump needs thousands of brave voters like you and me to light a fire under Republican officials and compel them to help our president launch his own valiant assault on political corruption in 2018.

New Year’s Resolution 2018: Help Trump cross the swamp.

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  1. Frank Sherwood says:

    I always enjoy hearing your perspective. Excellent article!

  2. Lodzia says:

    Welcome back, Katie!

    Sure missed your one-of-a-kind writing, and you!

  3. Marty Brown says:

    Glad to see you back for 2018.

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