“This is his thing. He is a successful businessman who hires people to get him ... what he wants,” said Fred Harris, 42, who works at a gas station near Philipsburg, Pa. “If he has to use swamp people to make America great again, why not?”They say this even though they delighted in the notion of swamp-draining.
“I don’t think that should be the main thing on his mind right now,” [Holly Mann, 61, a retired teacher who lives outside State College,] said. “Everyone down there is involved in the lobbying. It’s going to take a long time.”
Denise Jones, 54, in Port Matilda, Pa., agreed.
“He would never get anything done, would he?” she said. “This is real life, you can’t just play with the good guys. The important thing is he doesn’t need their money.” ...
“Of course he’s going to take on smart people, doesn’t matter whether they’re lobbyists or not,” said John Walton, 29, a truck driver from Pittsburgh who was passing through Port Matilda, Pa. “They’re the ones who know how to run ----.” ...
“To be frank, it’s more important he gets things moving, like getting rid of Obamacare and fixing the schools, and jobs” said Anne Freeman, 34, a stay-at-home mother in State College, Pa. “I don’t much care how he does it. That’s up to him.”
[Fred] Harris went to one of Trump’s rallies a few weeks before the election while visiting his brother in Johnstown, Pa., and says he joined the “Drain the swamp!” chants.By definition, even if he hires swamp dwellers, they're not like the really bad swamp dwellers, because Trump's not an evil Democrat.
“Oh yeah, people loved it. ‘Drain the swamp’ and ‘Build the wall,’” he said. “But I’d rather he focus on building the wall.”
“If Hillary had won -- and you know, she really is a swamp person -- she would have had to pay back with favors all these interests that sent her money,” said Mark Ross, 57, in Unionville, Pa., who said he wasn’t a fan of Trump but liked what he said about “flushing out the scum” in Washington.They accept it because they think they're going to get something out of a Trump presidency. But when they don't -- when the manufacturing jobs don't come back, when the wall never progresses much beyond a ground-breaking photo op, when there turns out to be no secret plan that instantly wipes out ISIS -- they'll still love Trump, because he luxuriates in their adulation, and he scapegoats the people they despise.
“Do I think it’s really gonna happen? Nah,” he laughed. “But better Trump’s swamp than Obama’s swamp. At least he’s gonna get us something.”
Years from now, probably in the depths of the next recession or during another mismanaged war, they might realize they've been fleeced, the way they eventually did with George W. Bush. But I assume Trump will be in his second term by then.