The “swamp” has many strata.
The D.C. of old was jammed with bright, young, idealistic kids who worked for not much money but worked together, having fun, expanding their horizons. Hope lived in prospects for the future and for advancement. People believed they might make a difference some day to the wealth, power, strength and sensibility of our nation.
These kids grew into their thirties, undeterred by the occasional setback. There was the world to control, conquer, civilize and improve. Peace was to be kept at nearly any cost. Health was to be fostered, and antibodies, vaccinations, food and water were to be the international coin. Brain power and wisdom began to be accumulated. Achievements began to seem to be possible.
In their forties and early fifties, this happy band –now accompanied by reasonable and far-reaching results both domestically and internationally – settled into roles for which they would be remembered and revered. True enough, they were not (most of them) making enormous money, but the satisfaction was great, the sense of having had hands in progress and improvement – in guiding the world to a better place – grew.
We know, because we started there.