Two popular pejorative metaphors have been on my mind lately. You will recognize them instantly. Yes, I refer to the “swamp” and the “deep state” — each the focus of intense analysis from both Right and Left during the presidential era of Donald J. Trump.

First things first. Any fair-minded person must acknowledge that the swamp is not a trademark wholly owned by Trump supporters or those on the Right. A minute of research will reveal how this wonderfully descriptive noun has been utilized to great effect by both parties for decades.

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The historical pattern is familiar: Somebody of one party gets into a jam (especially ethical jams), and the other party campaigns on cleaning house, or draining the swamp. And why not?

Voters conjure up visions of overgrown, dank, and dangerous waters populated by snakes (both human and otherwise) of various types. Who in their right mind would defend such a place?

You can bet those railing against the swamp are not internalizing the fact that Gen. George Washington actually laid out “his city” over a real swamp! Still, an interesting aspect of the swamp is its situational nature. Recall that those who work there are engaged in many meaningful and vitally important activities.

Swamp people send Social Security checks, pilot drones that deliver lethal messages to terrorists holed-up in faraway caves, certify the safety of the food we eat and the water we drink, and even built and now maintain our wonderful interstate highway system. Some really smart swamp creatures gave us a moon landing — and one day in the not-too-distant future will do it again on Mars.

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This same swamp also manages to lose — waste, misspend, mismanage — billions of your tax dollars, waste additional billions on poorly run federal programs, typically moves at the speed of molasses, and is often really hard to get a hold of when you need help.

Both major parties willingly feed the swamp. One believes in big government, the other in really, really big government. Sometimes, the people rise up when unusually expensive and poorly implemented programs (think Obamacare) are foisted upon them.

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For the most part, though, the swamp survives (and thrives) because Americans today expect an ever-increasing lot from their government — far more than the framers could have envisioned over 230 years ago or citizens could have envisioned before the Great Society.

Then there is the deep state. This intriguing phrase has been popularized in the aftermath of the dark activities pulled off by highly placed anti-Trumpers during and after the 2016 campaign.

There is no singular definition, but most would describe deep state members as Trump detractors stationed in important government agencies — including but not limited to the FBI, Department of State, and Department of Justice (DOJ).

These activists are generally progressives engaged in the business of pushing a left-leaning agenda from their positions of power, and especially with resisting Trump-style initiatives on immigration, environmentalism and nationalism.

The indictment can be over-inclusive, however. Most career DOJ lawyers probably do lean Left, but it is equally likely that the FBI (especially field agents) lean Right. So even here one must be careful about wholesale condemnations.

Nevertheless, it is rare that the general public gets a peek inside government agencies the way it has in the context of the Hillary email and Trump dossier scandals. Here, we have been given access to the personal emails of those employed at the highest levels of our federal investigatory agencies.

In the process, we the people can judge for ourselves how these individuals conducted themselves in the last election. So far, not so good — and we still have not seen tens of thousands of emails the government has been unwilling to divulge, including many subject to congressional subpoena.

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Alas, despite the nightly cynical headlines of right-leaning commentators, there is no secret society of card-carrying power brokers who gather periodically to implement George Soros’ secret plan for borderless countries and world socialism.

(By the way, let’s not forget the bygone era when similar conspiracy charges were lodged against the Trilateral Commission, a group of foreign and domestic policy experts who formed an alleged ghost cabinet to push “one world” agenda items to past presidents.)

But the recent revelations concerning manipulations engaged in by powerful senior management types should set off alarm bells in fair-minded people. Besides the blatant unfairness of it all, these now documented actions serve to deepen the cynicism of those who suspect Big Brother behind every questionable decision from Washington, D.C.

Your mom used to say it takes only one bad apple to ruin the day for everyone else. She could not have imagined how a half-dozen or so Obama-era bad apples could poison America’s opinion of so many once-revered national security agencies.

Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich was Maryland’s chief executive from 2003 to 2007. He previously served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland’s second congressional district. He is the author of “Bet You Didn’t See That One Coming: Obama, Trump and the End of Washington’s Regular Order.”

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