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Thorner: Trump wasn’t the first to take on DC’s Swamp, new book says


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Author Larry Schweikart

By Nancy Thorner - 

Donald Trump wasn't the first president that challenged DC's notorious Swamp, a new book by author Larry Schweikart says. Last week, Schweikart visited Chicagoland to talk about his new book.
Here's what others are saying about Schweikart's "Dragonslayers":
The Swamp has been around for over 150 years.  The six presidents Schweikart profiles are Abraham Lincoln, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump. They came from different backgrounds and different political parties, but all had their own unique tussles with the swamp during their time in office.
Donald Trump promised to “Drain the Swamp,” by which he originally meant lobbyists. When he got in, he found an entirely different Swamp—a Deep State that had grown, layer upon layer, within the government.
But Trump wasn’t the first to encounter entrenched Swamp opposition. Abraham Lincoln had to battle the “Slave Power Conspiracy”; Grover Cleveland was the most successful of three presidents to fight the spoils Swamp. Theodore Roosevelt found a new iteration of the Swamp awaiting him: Trusts. After World War II, John F. Kennedy discovered that he had little control over the Central Intelligence Agency, and even found he needed the CIA for his own purposes. Despite promising to shrink the bureaucracy Swamp, Ronald Reagan found himself helpless to even make a dent in it. And Trump soon learned that the Deep State could ensure no one ever brought any of its own to justice.
Dragonslayers explains why these Swamps exist, and why they were—and remain—so hard to defeat.

Schweikart's book is easy to read, with a chapter dedicated to each of the  six presidents highlighted by Schweikart.   
Chapter 1:   Abraham Lincoln and the Slave Swamp
Chapter 2:   Grover Cleveland and the Spoils Swamp
Chapter 3:   Teddy Roosevelt and the Trust Swamp
Chapter 4:  John F. Kennedy and the CIA Swamp
Chapter 5:  Ronald Reagan and the Bureaucracy Swamp
Chapter 6:  Donald Trump and the Deep State Swamp
Noted at the end of each chapter is a Scorecard indicating how each of the six presidents did in managing their own swamp condition.
As expressed by Schweikart:  Abraham Lincoln, Grover Cleveland and Theodore Roosevelt, all to one degree or another, succeeded in defeating or severely attenuating their Swamp creature.  
In defeating the Slave Swamp, Lincoln was the only one of the six presidents to achieve a knockout over a swamp foe, as slavery would never again exist in America.
When Donald Trump referenced about "Draining the Swamp," he wasn't referring to anything that hadn't been attempted before.  Trump,  as noted by Schweikart, was unsuccessful in curbing the size or reach of the Deep State.  He had minimal support from Congress when it came to the fighting the Deep State.  Overall Trump also had the most hostile media in American history.   He was also hamstrung in his personnel choices to fight the deep state by the Deep State.
Steve Bannon is quoted
The final paragraph of Schweikart's book contained a Steve Bannon quote attributed to a Schweikart interview with Bannon on June 17, 2021:
The Administrative State, the Deep State, the Swamp — whatever name it goes by, it has continued to grow since Trumps election.  Over time, each agency got its own police force and armed agents. 
Bannon summed it up as follows:  “From the very beginning we were at war.  They won round one."  The question yet to be answered is, "Will there be a round two?”
Bannon was President Donald Trump’s former campaign CEO and later his chief strategist in the White House.
Thorner highly recommends buying and reading Schweikart’s Dragonslayers and then recommending it to your friends and contacts.
Schweikart visits Chicagoland
The Heartland Institute on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, featured Schweikart in a talk about presidential history as detailed in his new book, Dragonslayers: Six Presidents and their War with the Swamp.
The Heartland Institute is one of the world’s leading free-market think tank based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission, since its founding in 1984, is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.   Heartland's focuses on issues in education, environmental protection, health care, budgets and taxes, and Stopping Socialism.  
Jim Lakely, Vice President and Director of Communications of The Heartland Institute, extended his warm greetings to attendees. 
James Taylor, as president of The Heartland Institute, introduced Larry Schweikart. 
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Schweikart’s bio
Larry Schweikart, a native Arizonian, graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Political Science, then went on the road with several different rock bands, opening for such 60s/70s acts as Steppenwolf. He abruptly switched gears in 1976 receiving an MA from ASU in history, then a Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Barbara. From 1985 to 2016 he taught at the University of Dayton. In his career he taught every grade from 7th through college.
He is the co-author, with Michael Allen, of the New York Times #1 bestseller, A Patriot’s History of the United States, now in its 31st printing, fourth edition, with a half-million copies in print. Patriot’s Historyremains the best-selling home school history textbook in America and is featured in numerous college courses as an antidote to Howard Zinn’s People’s History.
Schweikart’s other best-selling books include Seven Events that Made America, How Trump Won with Joel Pollak (completed before the 2016 election) and with David Dougherty, A Patriot’s History of the Modern World in two volumes. Reagan: the American President appeared in 2018.  See here all the books authored by Larry Schweikart.
Since 2009, Schweikart has been a film producer. His documentary, “Rockin’ the Wall,” which appeared on PBS and the sequel “Other Walls 2 Fall.” 
In 2019 Schweikart founded the Wild World of History curriculum website.  It is now available as a full curriculum for US and World history for grades 8-12, providing full lessons with video instruction by Larry Schweikart. 
Check here to view Larry Schweikart's presentation of Dragonslayers at The Heartland Institute on Rumble.com.


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  1. I had no idea Schweikart was so prolific! My copy of “A Patriot’s History” is dated 2004 and is the second printing. It’s astonishing that it is now in its 31st printing and fourth edition.
    Surely, one of the best things patriots can do is buy a dozen copies of “A Patriot’s History” and give copies to high-school aged children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren as Christmas or birthday presents. And not entirely unrelated… parents and grandparents and great-grandparents should stop paying college tuition. All it is doing is paying for leftist indoctrination. Buy your kids, grandkids, etc. good books like this one, instead.

  2. Uh…wow. The whole point of Andrew Jackson’s two terms(what he ran on and what he did) was to drain the swamp – which he did by inventing the spoils system which allowed a new administration to clean house, which in large part why Jackson was so vilified in D.C> itself.
    Jackson ran on the idea that the administrative offices, the House, Judiciary, and Senate had all been captured by the interest of the wealthy and connected and the people had lost representation and only the office of the President represented the will of the people (it is worth noting, suffrage had been altered and Jackson’s run ushered in the first election where the masses voted in number, though I would contend it was a slow drift over time and not the monumental moment most claim).
    In short ,Jackson altered, fundamentally, the office of the President as a bid to drain the swamp.

  3. And part of that plan was Jackson’s refusal to re-charted The Bank of the United States, a pet of then-dead Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton’s plan was to put control of the nation’s wealth in the hands of a few wealthy New York citizens, with himself as one of them.
    When Aaron Burr shot Hamilton he did the nation a service. Hamilton was an elitist and some believe, a monarchist.