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Donald Trump bragged in 2016 that, “I know words – I have the best words.”

Well, occasionally he does use some very fine words that convey great promise, as in this sentence: “I’m going to fight for every person in this country who believes government should serve the people – not the donors and special interests.” Similarly, Trump also declared he would “drain the swamp” to rid Washington of those creepy, crawly special-interest lobbyists.

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Excellent words! But they only matter if the speaker actually means them, backing their rhetorical promise with action. As we’ve seen though, far from draining the swamp, Trump converted the White House itself into a fetid cesspool of lobbyists, corporate executives, and banksters.

His transition team was almost exclusively made up of those swamp critters. His glitzy inaugural celebration was bankrolled by Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Pharma, and other Bigs that attached their legislative and regulatory demands to the checks they donated. Most of his top officials came straight out of Wall Street and corporate suites, turning Trump’s government into a sump pump that is routinely funneling billions of dollars and special regulatory favors to the moneyed elite.

When asked why he put Wall Street hucksters in charge of economic policy, he offered this scramble of words that inadvertently revealed his true, plutocratic soul: “I love all people, rich or poor. But in these positions, I just don’t want a poor person.”

This is Jim Hightower saying… Really? Not even one official who understands poverty from first-hand experience and could not only give you advice, but also some understanding? And what about those hard-hit middle-class workers Trump always talks about? Nope, he hasn’t appointed a single one to a top policy position. So, forget Trump’s words. If the poor and middle class aren’t in his government, they’re not in his heart either – nor in his policies.

Boomerang: How Trump’s Words Will Haunt Him in 2018,” The New York Times, December 23, 2018.

Lobbyists Romp in Trump’s Washington,” The New York Times, January 22, 2018.

Trump: ‘I just don’t want a poor person’ running the economy,” CNBC, June 22, 2017.

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