The Swamp

Trump used fear tactics, hatred and Russian influence to win the last election.  He utilized the word swamp to symbolize the corrupt politics taking place in Washington DC and he promised to drain it.  The word swamp was a derogatory rallying cry, pledging to restore honesty and accountability to our nation’s capital hoping to change what goes on there.  I do not see how endorsing Roy Moore as the Alabama Republican Senate candidate is helping to drain this swamp, unless Trump only counts Democrats as being part of the swamp.

In a literary sense, ‘the swamp’ is a metonymy, which is a figure of speech that consists of the use of the name of one object or concept for that of another to which it is related, or of which it is a part.  More accurately ‘the swamp’ is a synecdoche, which is a class of metonymy, thus this figure of speech contains a part that is made to represent the whole or vice versa, often by means of either mentioning a part for the whole, or conversely by the whole being used for one of its parts.

In a figurative sense, a swamp is a place on Earth that occupies the netherworld between land and water and it is similar to a bog, a wetland or a marsh. A swamp, at its most basic meaning, is a forested wetland that contains standing water year-round or at least seasonally.  However, most people will commonly use swamp to refer to non-forested wetlands as well, like marshes, bogs and fens. A swamp is an area of land that is permanently saturated, or filled, with water.  Many swamps are covered by water and the two main types of swamps are freshwater swamps and saltwater swamps.  Swamps are natural water level monitoring devices, because in rainy times they collect rainwater acting like a sponge and this helps to prevent floods.  In dry times swamps are water reservoirs.

Throughout history, different societies have viewed swamps negatively, because standing water can be a thriving source for poisonous snakes and alligators along with disease-carrying mosquitoes, and also the water prevents people from cultivating the submerged land for agriculture, or developing it so it can be used as a commercial center.  In fiction, swamps are often portrayed as godforsaken places that no man wants to enter willingly.  When they aren’t infested with undead horrors, they hide tribes of hideous frog-like or lizard-like freakish creatures, who slink away into their half-sunken hideouts so they can grasp the unwary with their cold hands, flippers, or claw-like paws and then drag the unsuspecting beneath the still black water.  The people that live in swamps can be even scarier than the dreaded insects and animals, as they bring up images of toothless Cajun’s and conjure thoughts about Adam Sandler’s movie Waterboy.  At the very least, swamps are strange, dangerous, unpleasant, and in some cases downright evil places that tend to attract a lot of insects.  Some swamps have drawn on legends and tales to propel them beyond being merely creepy places, becoming full blown epicenters of the paranormal and unexplained activities, which are accompanied by ancient curses that may cause travelers to become lost and wander the swamps forever.

I usually get a terrible feeling of dread whenever I hear the word swamp, but wetlands are extremely effective at cleaning water.  When water enters a marsh, with the fine plant roots of willows, grasses, sedges, and rushes, these roots absorb gobs of waterborne pollutants.  There are no better places on Earth to see massive hordes of birds than in the wetlands.  Many species of fish around the world rely on wetlands and these fish are a major source of healthy protein for hungry people, so the world must have a major stake in preserving them.  All said and done, swamps are not all that bad, however I don’t think that I would ever want to relocate to one.

14 thoughts on “The Swamp

  1. Nor I, but I’m happy to know they still exist – but the first reference to swamps in politics: now the people know what he meant. The swamp of corruption is gone, long live the quagmire.

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    1. Got it ‘oo’, sorry I wrote this at school today where I don’t have internet access to check things like that. I told one of my students that I was writing a story about a swamp and that it had Trump in it. She asked me if Trump dies in my story and I told her ‘no’ and she said that I should fix the ending.

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      1. I saw the documentary World beneath your feet by BBC If I remember it correctly. It was said that Florida has numerous swamp areas. Hmm.. I know there are more than 5 types. I also know that because of rainfall acidity the lime rocks disintegrate all the time. There should be many swamps given it’s flat with abundant water table. I will check the facts Jim.

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      2. I’m still checking Jim, but there are abundant swamps. And the documentary was right. But I wrote Florida is surrounded, so I guess that’s not correct. Although it can be in nearby future.

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      3. Yep Jim checked the facts from articles of Geological Society. It seems I was right. The state rest on limestone bedrock which means due to acidic rains there will be sinkholes. And when there will be sinkholes, there will be swamps.

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