The swamp is real and infested

Published 7:40 am Saturday, August 12, 2017

Editorial by Bobby Tingle


Is Washington D.C. really built on a swamp?

President Donald Trump, while campaigning, promised if elected, he would ‘drain the swamp’.

Hmm, what does he mean?

One of the beloved readers of The Orange Leader dropped by the office this week. She had the swamp question on her mind. She did not make clear whether she supported Trump’s desire to drain the swamp in Washington D.C. She did make clear she believes the hallowed ground upon which our nation’s capital is built was once a swamp. She insisted it is in history books.

Is the swamp real or myth?

According to Carl Abbot in his article, ‘The myth that Washington was built on a swamp will never go away’ published by on March 9, 2017, Trump is not alone. He reported Ron Paul and Nancy Pelosi also promised to ‘drain the swamp’ and labeled them ‘hydraulic engineers’.

His article is interesting. He claims Paul, Pelosi and Trump have all sought to drain the swamp ‘of Washington politics’. But his focus in the article is the topography upon which Washington D.C. was built. At one point he admonishes politicians who use this metaphor of D.C. somehow being a swamp. After all the area is filled with wonderful buildings and homes.

Hmm, did Abbot miss something? He seems to imply Paul, Pelosi and Trump intend to drain D.C. of the buildings and homes contained within.

Another reporter, Don Hawkins, in his article, ‘No, D.C. isn’t really built on a swamp, published August 29, 2014 at, concludes as well it is a myth the district was built on a swamp. Then he undermines his own conclusion in one sentence when he undergirds his myth argument by saying: ‘But it isn’t true. At least, it’s not true enough to warrant its prevalence.’

Wait a minute. How do you argue a fact is not a fact because it is not true enough?

Well I know one southeast Texan who knows the truth is true and is not a myth.

On their official website, Histories of the National Mall described the land the National Mall is built on as low, flat, surrounded by three waterways where heavy rains and flooding frequently saturate the landscape, sometimes creating puddles the size of small ponds. They conclude from those facts a myth grew the national mall was built on a swamp.

Wow, how do you claim a myth when the facts you present show otherwise?

Our beloved reader was right; Washington D. C. was built, at least partially, on a swamp.

Then our federal government moved in. They infested it with varmints.

At least Ron Paul, Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump think so.

Bobby Tingle is Publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at